Amnesty International, said the prosecution represented “a clear violation of press freedom and fit a disturbing pattern of abuses against journalists by police in the U.S.A.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a project comprising a number of press freedom organizations, said that 11 other journalists working for U.S. publications were facing criminal charges after being arrested while covering protests last year.

Kirstin McCudden, the managing editor of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, expressed concern about the prosecution of Ms. Sahouri. “It’s a concerning precedent for her to have not only been arrested and assaulted with pepper spray while reporting but then to also face trial,” she said.

Tomas Murawski, a reporter for The Alamance News in North Carolina, is among the other journalists facing prosecution. He was arrested Oct. 31 while covering a protest in Graham, N.C., and charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer. The case is set for a March 31 court hearing.

April Ehrlich, a reporter for Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Ore., was arrested Sept. 22 while reporting on a police action to clear homeless people from a park in Medford, Ore. Ms. Ehrlich, who won an Edward R. Murrow award last year, was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. A pretrial conference hearing is scheduled for March 16.

Another journalist who has been charged is Richard Cummings, a freelance photographer. He was arrested June 1 while covering a demonstration in Worcester, Mass. He had a court hearing on Monday, and his next court date is April 20.

Thomas J. Healy, a constitutional law professor at Seton Hall University law school, said that arrests and prosecutions of journalists could have “a chilling effect on the press.”

“We rely on journalists to cover protests and the police response to protests,” he said. “This kind of transparency is how our democracy functions effectively.”

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