Manchester journalists petition police after arrest
18 April 2010
Journalists in Manchester have launched a petition demanding an explanation from Greater Manchester police for the arrest of NUJ Manchester branch member, Rhetta Moran.
The union has already called on the police to explain why Rhetta Moran's press card was taken from her during a demonstration in Bolton last month. It was subsequently returned. Police also searched her home.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:
"If this had happened in several countries across the world we would rightly expect the British government to express indignation.
"The fact that Dr Moran's fundamental right to take part in a legitimate demonstration has been violated by police should not be allowed to fade from public consciousness simply because her press card has now been returned.
"She has been subjected to obvious police harassment and this is unacceptable in a free society.
"I am writing to the chief constable of Greater Manchester to demand a full explanation of the treatment of Dr Moran by his officers.
"The press card – accepted by UK police forces as establishing the bona fides of journalists and NUJ members – is not some Christmas cracker novelty to be treated by police officers according to whim.
"Taking – and keeping – Dr Moran's press card is a threat to press freedom we cannot ignore."