Sussex snapper’s stuff seized
BRIGHTON-based freelance photographer and NUJ member Medyan Dairieh (www.imageslive.net) had his camera and bag seized by Sussex Police officers on 6 March when he was covering a demonstration and interviewing people outside the EDO MBM arms components factory in Brighton.
Medyan told the Freelance that, despite being identified as a member of the press, "The police seized my main camera and my bag, checked all my equipment and seized it all: the second camera, the flash, the recorder and the microphone, two memory cards." He contacted the Freelance Office, and four days later, after receiving assistance from the NUJ's solicitors, everything was returned - apart from the recorder and two memory cards, which on 29 March he had not recovered.
"As a reporter and photographer I have always had problems," Medyan says, "with the police in the UK, especially with Sussex Police": so much so that he now always wears his Press Card round his neck when he's on assignment.
He has also "started wearing the PRESS jacket that I would normally wear in difficult places such as Palestine and Turkey; yet it does not make a big difference." He adds that police regularly write down the information on his Press Card and photograph it.