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NUJ photographer challenges police

NUJ Journalists | 17.09.2007 10:57 | SOCPA | Other Press | Repression | London | World

Solicitors Hickman & Rose have served papers on Sir Ian Blair the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for "Battery" (assault) and breaches of the Human Rights Act, relating to freedom of expression and assembly, on behalf of the photojournalist and NUJ member Marc Vallée.

Mr Vallée, who is also a member of the International Federation of Journalists and the British Press Photographers’ Association, was taking photographs of the ‘Sack Parliament’ demonstration protest in Parliament Square on 9 October 2006.

He received injuries further to action by Metropolitan Police officers, which resulted in an ambulance attending to give urgent attention and then treatment at St Thomas’ hospital.

The Metropolitan Police have yet to apologise for or offer any explanation of the actions taken by officers.

Ms Chez Cotton of Hickman & Rose said:

‘This is a significant case because freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy and safeguards afforded to the press are particularly important. Mr. Vallée was lawfully present to photograph a political protest outside parliament, yet received injuries at the hands of Metropolitan police officers. In these circumstances it is hoped that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police will swiftly confirm that neither he nor his officers have any legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what the media record, and resolve this case urgently.’

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said: “We are delighted to be supporting Marc’s case. He has been treated disgracefully and it is important that such behaviour is challenged and proper amends made. Key democratic principles are at stake here and we are determined to do everything in our power to make sure that Marc gets justice.”


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