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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers for a journalist who was arrested in Tennessee and then placed in an immigration detention facility say the government was trying to suppress his reporting and violated his rights of freedom of speech and the press.

Attorneys have asked a federal court to release Manuel Duran. Court documents allege the 42-year-old reporter is being silenced after writing stories critical of the Memphis police department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Duran was reporting on a protest in Memphis earlier this month for a Spanish-language outlet when he was arrested for disorderly conduct and obstruction of a highway. Charges were dropped, but police turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Duran is from El Salvador. ICE officials said a 2007 deportation order was issued against him.

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