The Photojournalist Syndicate announced on Wednesday that one of their colleagues, Mohammed Aazair, was assaulted on Tuesday by one of the U.S. Embassy guards.
It said in a statement that the assault took place while U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman was visiting Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat at his Clemenceau residence in Beirut.
It added: “The security guard prevented Aazair from performing his duty in a militia manner.”
“What right does a security guard at a foreign embassy have in hindering the work of a photojournalist while he is performing his duty?” it asked.
The syndicate therefore called on President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, and Information Minister Walid al-Daouq to condemn such behavior, “especially since photojournalists are working on providing the image of officials to the public.”
“The assault did not only target the Lebanese media, but the politicians who allow embassy security guards to attack the media,” it stressed.
The statement demanded that the necessary measures be taken to protect photojournalists while they are exercising their duty, calling for the “strictest of punishments be taken against violators”.
It warned that it may take escalatory measures should Aazair’s attacker fail to be held accountable for his action.
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