By Leroy Smith
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A reporter was detained by the station Sergeant of the Timehri Police Station on Saturday afternoon (January 18) while he stood on the road taking video footage of the Police Station.
News Update’s (Channel 14/65) reporter 25 – year – old Nickhail Jaundoo was detained by Sergeant Moore.
The Timehri Police Station is the same station that has been brought into disrepute and racked much negative press and criticisms for itself and the Guyana Police Force after information surfaced that a detainee – Colwyn Harding was abused while in custody at the station.
The matter which is under intense investigation and which caused several ranks to be removed has been receiving much media attention.
On Saturday afternoon, Jaundoo along with other reporters who were returning from a ministerial assignment at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, stopped at the police station and began taking what is commonly referred to in the media as “cover shots.”
The police shouted at the reporter, exited the station and ordered the reporter to cease taking the footage. The Sergeant told the reporter that he needed to seek permission before taking any photo or footage of the police station. He however could not say where or who that permission should come from.
The reporter was then invited into the police station, and while there, the police continued to question the reporter’s authority to take footage of the station even though it was done from the public road and not in the compound of the police station.
The police officer then proceeded to take down the particulars of the reporter including his name, address and where he worked. The reporter was then cautioned by the same rank that when he is finish reviewing the information and is able to come with an offence, for which he will be charged, the reporter would be summoned.
This is not the first time the police have exercised an abuse of their power to arrest and detain journalists. In 2009, a Prime News Reporter was arrested by a party of policemen after he stood on a private property taking video footage of a police operation. He was arrested and detained for almost one hour at the Brickdam police Station.
There was also the case where veteran journalist Francis Quamina Ferreira was arrested and detained for taking video footage of a police station. In that case however, the journalist challenged the police action in the court and won resulting in the police having had to compensate him.