March 23, 2008

England - South east area

Paul Amyes in a featured comment at does not give any specifics of exactly where this "street of a popular tourist location in the South East of England" is, but what he says is frightening:

"Last year I visited the UK and was arrested under suspicion of being a terrorist and paedophile by two police officers. I was taking photos in the street of a popular tourist location in the South East of England. It was for me an incredibly frightening experience. I'm disabled and walk with the aid of a stick. I was approached by two officers who immediately started pushing me around and threatening to 'Tazer' me unless I co-operated. I was made to lie face down in the street while I was handcuffed and searched. My equipment was threatened with confiscation and destruction under the the 'Prevention of Terrorism Act.' It was only when I taken down the station and I asked to speak to the Australian Consulate that things started to change. After three hours of being held in a cell I was told I could go only if I agreed to not take the matter any further. If I wanted to make a complaint I was told that I could be held for a further 72 hours without charges. As I had a plane to catch that night I thought better of the whole situation and agreed not to make a complaint.

"Later in the year I went to China. I was allowed to photograph where and what I liked. I even had police officers and soldiers posing for me at Tiananmen Square. People regard China as a totalitarian police state, but its ironic that I was treated better there than I was in Britain.

"Now having seen that video and the the new posters put out by the Metropolitan Police about photographers it has certainly strengthened my resolve to never return to Britain."

I find his story of photography in China at the Tiananmen Square very interesting!
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