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Sanef shocked by unlawful detention

Sanef Media Statement : February 10 2014

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) is shocked by the unlawful detention of freelance journalist Sandiso Phaliso in Cape Town.

While covering a story for the Daily Sun on a vigilante attack in Phillipi last week, Phaliso took photographs of police officers taking pictures of the badly injured victim with their cellphones. Phaliso overheard the officers saying they would post the pictures on Facebook.

When the officers saw him, they locked him in the back of a police van and insisted that he delete his photographs. He was kept at the Nyanga police station for two hours, before being released.

This behaviour by officers of the South African Police Service is completely unacceptable. Phaliso’s freedom of expression has been infringed by this incident when he tried to expose officers neglecting their very basic duty of protecting communities.

This is the latest incident in a string of deeply concerning attacks by the police on journalists.

Sanef will take up this matter in our meeting with national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega, which has been requested.