SAMC, SAFMA condemn harassment of photojournalists
LAHORE: The South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) and South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) have expressed shock over the treatment meted out to photojournalists in Srinagar on August 19.
In a press statement issued on Thursday, the commission and SAFMA stated that it fully shared the concern voiced by the Kashmir Photojournalists Association and demanded deterrent action against the policemen responsible for harassing media persons.
The SAMC said that it was a case of deliberate disregard for the elementary norms of dealing with media persons and was not action based on “mistaken identity”, as was later stated in a ‘cover-up bid’.
The commission said it was particularly disturbing the way the photojournalists were chased, beaten up and detained for several hours. It said that their only crime had been in covering clashes between the police and a group of protesters.
Â“It is time the authorities realised that such an attitude would only prove counter-productive and would give a bad name to the administration. It is not hard to realise the consequences if the Photojournalists Association feels compelled to go ahead with its plan for protests at the international level,” the SAMC stated. It also stated that the governor and chief minister should take suitable action against the police officials and should also lay down clear guidelines for police and other authorities to follow when dealing with media persons.
The International Federation of Journalists, India Union of Journalists, and Reporters Without Borders have already condemned the police action against photojournalists and the intimidation of reporters.
Source: Daily Times