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Updated January 9th, 2024 at 11:07 IST

Watch: Canada police arrest journalist for posing THIS question to country's Deputy PM, Musk reacts

Two police officers in Toronto arrested a journalist while he was trying to pose a question to Trudeau's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland
Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland | Image:AP
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Toronto: Amid Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's declining popularity in the country, two police officers in Toronto arrested a journalist while he was trying to pose a question to Trudeau's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. According to local Canadian News outlet Rebel News, the incident took place in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill and the journalist involved in the incident was the Rebel News reporter David Menzies. 

According to the Rebel News, the incident occurred on the 4th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) downing Flight PS752, which ultimately led to the death of  55 Canadians among its nearly 200 victims. As per the videos circulating online, Menzies approached the Canadian premier asking why the Trudeau administration has not listed IRGC as a terrorist group. While Freeland ignored the question and kept on walking, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer approached the Canadian journalist and grabbed him immediately. "You're under arrest for assault!" the police remarked after Menzies questioned why he was under arrest. 

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One of the officers even went on to accuse Menzies of “almost pushing everybody over”. “This is what they do to journalists. I was merely questioning Minister Freeland,” the journalist remarked while he was being pushed to the wall. "This is your Canada now folks. This is the Gestapo taking Blackface's orders. Outrageous. And meanwhile, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is not a terrorist organization," he furthered. One of the representatives from the news body said that the news organisation is planning to sue the RCMP. Meanwhile, another journalist eventually revealed that Menzies was released without charges. Canadian opposition leader Pierre Poilievre took to Twitter to condemn the whole ordeal. “This is the state of freedom of the press. In Canada. In 2024. After 8 years of Trudeau,” he wrote on X. 

Elon Musk reacts 

Shortly after the video became viral, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to X, formally known as Twitter to give his take on the matter. “Sure looks that way. Fine for the officer to body block someone trying to get close to a senior government official, but false to say that he deliberately assaulted an officer,” the billionaire wrote on X. Musk was responding to a tweet by a netizen who asked if the journalist was “falsely arrested”.  "He really was falsely arrested on a trumped up charge of "assaulting an officer." Or am I missing something?" the user remarked. 

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Why Canada is not designating IRGC as a terrorist entity?

On January 8 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down minutes after taking off from Tehran. The aircraft was shot by two Iranian surface-to-air missiles that were fired by IRGC. 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people who were killed in what is touted as a national tragedy in Canada. For years, the families of the victims have been asking the Canadian government to designate IRGC as a terrorist organisation - a measure the Canadian government has yet to take.  

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The airliner was shot five days after the US assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. However, the Iranian government claimed in a 2021 report that the airliner was shot down accidentally, CBC News reported. The  IRGC is a paramilitary force created following the Iranian revolution. Ottawa designated Iran's Quds Force - a branch of IRGC as a terrorist entity in 2017. However, the liberal government for years resisted the calls to do the same with IRGC. the government argued that listing the paramilitary force as a terrorist organisation could affect low-level people who were forced to serve in the paramilitary force. However, on Friday,  Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc did not rule out a possible terrorist designation for the IRGC.
 

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Published January 9th, 2024 at 10:57 IST

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