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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Photographer sues Met over demo
Demonstration
Marc Vallee was photographing the Parliament protest
A photographer has claimed he was assaulted by police while covering an anti-war protest outside Parliament.

Marc Vallee is pressing charges against the Metropolitan Police over alleged injuries suffered during the "Sack Parliament" demonstration last year.

Some 38 people were arrested in clashes with police in Parliament Square.

Mr Vallee's union, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), said his treatment was "disgraceful". The Met says it is looking into his claims.

'Democratic principles'

"The police have yet to apologise for or offer any explanation of the actions taken by officers," the union said on its website.

Acting for Mr Vallee, Ms Chez Cotton, of Hickman & Rose, said the safeguarding freedom of speech was central to the case.

She claimed he was injured by officers, despite being lawfully present to photograph the protest in October 2006.

"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," she said.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: "Key democratic principles are at stake here and we are determined to do everything in our power to make sure that Marc gets justice."

A Met Police spokesman confirmed it has been served with notification of a legal action alleging assault and human rights infringements.

"MPS has until late October to file a defence and enquiries are continuing," he said.


SEE ALSO
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09 Oct 06 |  UK Politics

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