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Police obstruct journalists at Greek embassy protest

10 December 2008

The NUJ has today criticised the Metropolitan Police for their handling of the media at protests outside the Greek embassy in London earlier this week.

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 union has also received reports that at least one of its members suffered physical injury as a result of their handling by the police.

Roy Mincoff, NUJ Legal Officer, said:

"The police must remember that they have responsibilities towards the media. 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.
"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."

Tags: , protests, press freedom, photographers, harassment, metropolitan police, marc vallée, jason parkinson