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Photojournalist assaulted by restaurant manager, his camera broken, after taking pictures in kitchen

(Globe International/IFEX) - On 24 June 2007, the manager of Chinggis 3 restaurant in Sukhbaatar District accused S. Tuul, a photojournalist with the newspaper "Social Mirror", of taking photos in the restaurant without permission, kicked him in the head and broke his camera.

Following clients' complaints that Chinggis 3 restaurant serves food containing insects, Tuul went to the restaurant to investigate. In the restaurant's kitchen, Tuul took pictures documenting the unhygienic conditions in which the food is cooked. As the journalist was leaving the scene, Mr. Naraa, the restaurant's manager, attacked him for infringing upon the restaurant's commercial secrets.

When Tuul went to the Sukhbaatar District police station the next day to file a complaint, Ts. Gankhuyag, chief of the Case Registration Desk, did not accept his complaint under the pretext of being on a lunch break. On 26 June, the journalist's complaint was rejected under another pretext. On 27 June, Ts. Gankhuyag again refused to file the complaint, yelling: "Why do you journalists take pictures wherever you want?"

Article 6.1 of Chapter 1 of the Law on Organization Secrets prohibits concealing information that reveals the impact of a business entity's activities, production, services, technical equipment and technologies on public health and the environment.

As a follow-up to the news story in "Social Mirror" and clients' complaints, N. Valya, inspector at the Specialized Inspection Agency of the capital city, inspected the restaurant and concluded that the it did not have a professional cook, and that the food served there does not meet basic hygienic standards. The inspector temporarily suspended the restaurant's operating license.

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