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NUJ speaks out against Met Police ‘heavy-handedness’ at Greek Embassy Protests

December 10th, 2008Posted by in Photography, Press freedom and ethics

Further to our blog post this morning, showing police interfering with photojournalist Marc Valleé while he was attempting to photograph protests at the Greek Embassy on Monday, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has released a statement criticising the Metropolitan Police for the way they handled media coverage of the protests outside the Greek Embassy on Monday.

The NUJ said it had received reports that ‘at least one of its members suffered physical injury as a result of their handling by the police’.

“There are clear guidelines which discuss how the police should work with the media and officers policing demonstrations need to be made aware of their responsibilities. The police know very well our concerns around cases like this and it’s simply unacceptable for our members to continue to have problems when covering protests. Such basic infringements of our members’ rights must stop,” the release said.

“Heavy-handed policing meant journalists were prevented from doing their jobs as they tried to report on the protests which took place on Monday. Photographs from the protests show the police deliberately obstructing photographers in their work and journalists have complained of being physically removed from any area from which they could document events.”

“The police must remember that they have responsibilities towards the media,” said NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff, in the release. “Even where a protest is itself illegal, the media have a right to report on events and the police should not be taking action with the intention of obstructing journalists in their work,” he added.

Journalism.co.uk is following up, and will report more when further information is received.

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