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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 02:43 GMT
Indian film-maker sues New York
Rakesh Sharma
Sharma is an award-winning documentary maker
A award-winning Indian film-maker has sued the city of New York after police stopped him from filming in the street.

Rakesh Sharma was shooting footage for a film on New York taxi drivers in May 2005 when officers stopped him.

The suit, filed on Rakesh Sharma's behalf by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), said his constitutional rights had been violated.

According to his lawsuit he was held by police and "searched and harassed" before being told he needed a permit.

'Scared and humiliated'

Mr Sharma won several awards for his 2002 documentary Final Solution, which looked at religious rioting in the Indian state of Gujarat.

"It's a sad day when the police think they can detain and mistreat someone simply for making a film on a public street in New York City," Mr Sharma said on Tuesday.

"I co-operated with them and answered all their questions, but they treated me like a criminal. It was wrong, and I was scared and humiliated," he said.

Mr Sharma returned to New York last November and applied for a permit to film but was denied permission.

Restrictions on taking photos and filming in public have come into force in New York city since the 11 September attacks in 2001.

"The police can and should investigate suspicious activity," said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Chris Dunn, "but that does not give them license to arrest people for public photography."

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06 Aug 04 |  Entertainment

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