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Photographer arrested in Manchester

15 June 2011

Manchester journalists have responded angrily to the arrest – and subsequent 'de-arrest' – of a newspaper photographer who was taking pictures of an incident near the city's magistrates' court.

Photographer Sean Wilton of the Manchester Evening News (MEN) was taking pictures of two groups of men fighting outside the court when police accused him of a breach of the peace and bundled him into a police car.

Police subsequently claimed that he was later 'de-arrested' and released. Police had also tried to interfere with other photographers carrying out their jobs outside the court.

Sean Wilton's colleagues in the NUJ MEN chapel said police need to learn that journalists have a legal right to go about their work without hindrance.

Bethan Dorsett, deputy mother of the NUJ chapel at MEN, said:

"Our photographers do a fine job, often in difficult circumstances and always abiding by the codes of conduct applying to our industry.
"To be treated in such a way by police is completely unacceptable and very worrying.
"Either police officers do not understand our rights and responsibilities or they sometimes choose to ignore them - either is disturbing and suggests some education would be useful.
"We are sure the NUJ and MENMedia would be more than happy to discuss and clarify these matters with the police."

Tags: , photographers, newspapers, manchester evening news, police, press freedom, journalists arrested