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Security guard confiscates journalist's videotape

(Globe International/IFEX) - During an investigation of Darkhan Aimag's water-filtering plant, Orkhon TV journalist Munkhtur Damdinbazar's car was stopped by a guard from the security company Darkhan SB, who ordered him to hand over his videotape.

Damdinbazar was doing a follow-up investigation to a report on alleged poor water quality, which was broadcast on LHA TV on 19 October 2007.

The security guard, M. Batsukh, told the journalist that he had to confiscate the videotape as Damdinbazar did not have permission to be on the premises. The guard then inspected the journalist's car.

Damdinbazar had been filming at the plant's pond, where there is no fence to keep people out, unlike the plant's main building, which is fenced and guarded by Darkhan SB.

Globe International has sent a letter about the incident to the water-filtering plant's chief, L. Byambadorj.

Globe International also contacted security guard M. Batsukh on 3 November to learn more about the incident. Batsukh said that he had received his orders from high-ranking employees, such as engineer M. Namjildorj.

Globe was told that the plant's employees were angry over the LHA TV report and ordered senior security guard S. Tsevlee not to let journalists inside the establishment.

Acting on those orders, Batsukh inspected Damdinbazar's car. Batsukh said he had seen the journalist videotaping at the pond and had decided to take action.

When Globe International contacted engineer M. Namjildorj on 3 November, he denied that he had given any order to stop people filming, but that he had told guards not to let journalists inside the establishment.

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