`Police bahaviour towards local press unjustified'

SHARJAH - Nerves are often frayed and tempers flare during emergency situations that involve large numbers of casualties, but the high handed and aggressive overreaction displayed by members of the Sharjah Police towards members of the local press at the air crash site, is unjustified.

By Hani M. Bathish

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Published: Thu 12 Feb 2004, 12:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:41 PM

Among the journalists roughed up and insulted was ourreporter Tarek S. Fleihan, and Al Bayan news photographer, Mohammed Ahmad, who was verbally abused, while another photographer's camera was smashed.

Reacting with shock and disbelief when told of the incident, an official from the UAE Journalists Association said that what happened to local journalists at the scene of the crash had never happened before. The deputy director of the journalists association, Sami Al Riyami, said the association's board would forward the complaint to authorities concerned to take steps to protect journalists' rights.

"We regret this inhumane treatment that befall a member of the press fraternity. It is wrong for journalists to be physically harmed, nor should anyone be subject to such mistreatment. We will be very careful not to allow such behaviour to be repeated. We have held a meeting on Wednesday at 6 pm to discuss the issue and take appropriate action," Mr Riyami said. In a letter of protest drafted by local journalists and addressed to the UAE Journalists Association, the gravity of the situation was stressed and journalists agreed that an assault against one of them was an attack on them all.

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