Journalists face felony charges after covering inauguration protests

Several journalists who were arrested while covering the unrest during President Donald Trump's inauguration now face felony charges.

According to The Guardian, at least six members of the media have been charged with felony rioting. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars and face a $25,000 fine.

As of Wednesday morning, the journalists facing felony charges included included Evan Engel of Vocativ, Alexander Rubinstein of RT America, documentary producer Jack Keller, freelancer Aaron Cantu and independent journalists Shay Horse and Matt Hopard.

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Donald Trump protests from around the globe
A protester stomps on an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump in front of the U.S. embassy in Montreal, Canada January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
People hold placards saying 'Trump Away!', as they gather to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in front of the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Poland January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Anti-Trump protesters gather during a protest against the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, in Berlin, January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
A man shouts slogans as he holds up anti U.S. President Donald Trump signs during a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
Demonstrators drop a banner that reads "Act Now! Build Bridges not Walls" from Tower Bridge during a protest against the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President, in London, Britain, January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in Madrid, Spain January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera
Protesters burn the American flag and an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump in front of the U.S. embassy in Montreal, Canada January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
A demonstrator is seen during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in Madrid, Spain January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera
A woman kicks the head of a pinata representing the U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest outside a Ford dealership in Mexico City, Mexico January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Anti-Trump protesters march in Montreal, Canada January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Protesters hold up a sign during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump outside the United States embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay, January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno
Protesters hold up signs during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in front of the United States embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay, January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno
U.S. citizens Tim Ortiz (L) and Donald Goertzen light candles while holding up placards during a protest ahead of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, outside the Manila American Cemetery in Taguig city, Metro Manila, Philippines January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan
A woman holds a placard that reads "No to the wall", during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump outside a Ford dealership in Mexico City, Mexico January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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Those journalists were among more than 200 people arrested in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.

The majority of the protesters were peaceful, but others damaged property and confronted police. At least six officers suffered minor injuries during clashes with demonstrators.

The Guardian reports none of the journalists' arrest warrants have specific allegations of individual wrongdoing.

Instead, the documents refer to a large crowd "observed enticing a riot by organizing, promoting, encouraging and participating in acts of violence."

The Committee to Protect Journalists says the charges are "clearly inappropriate." The group is asking authorities in Washington to drop them immediately.

CPJ said in a statement, "We are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests."

The Guardian says preliminary hearings for the six journalists are scheduled for either February or March.

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