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Photographer detained for six hours for taking pictures of fire

(RSF/IFEX) - The three leading weekly newspapers of Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines - "The News", "Searchlight" and "The Vincentian" - published editorials on 9 January 2009 criticising the police and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves' government for the arrest of Jeff Trotman, a journalist of Guyanese origin who has worked for "The Vincentian" since 1997.

Trotman was taking photos of a burning building in the early hours of 21 December 2008 when Police Superintendent Rouzendal "Bouncer" Francis told him to stop. After Trotman insisted on his right to take photos, he was arrested, taken to Kingstown central police station and held for six hours without being able to speak to a lawyer. Deputy Commissioner Bertie Pompey later confirmed that Trotman was not charged and that the circumstances of his arrest were being investigated. Reporters Without Borders joins the Association of Caribbean Media Workers in calling for a full investigation.

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