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NUJ calls for investigation into Tamil protest policing

15 May 2009

The NUJ has called for an investigation into the targeting of journalists by the Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group (TSG). The NUJ has hit out at the treatment of journalists by police at a Tamil protest outside the Houses of Parliament on Monday.

The union also called for an investigation into the orders that senior officers gave.

Police used force against photographers and journalists as Tamil protesters occupied roads around the Houses of Parliament. NUJ members reported that photographers were forcibly removed from the area by police as Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group (TSG) officers moved in to clear the road.

Photojournalist Marc Vallée said:

"I came out of Westminster tube station just before 3pm and within ten minutes I was being forcibly removed by TSG officers. I witnessed an agency photographer being brutally grabbed and taken away from the scene. It felt like anyone with a professional looking camera was a target."

Commenting on the news, Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"The harassment of journalists whilst going about their lawful work has to stop. Press freedom is a central tenet of our democracy but it is being undermined by the failure of senior police officers to change the culture amongst the Met's rank and file."

Roy Mincoff, NUJ Legal Officer, added:

"Yet again the police have ignored the guidelines agreed between ACPO and the media. We are now obtaining further reports from our members and will be taking action on their behalf."

Tags: , photographers, protests, complaint, metropolitan police, tamil, protests, parliament uk, tsg