Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In for a Pennie...

Congratulations to Pennie Quinton who has won a stunning victory in the European Court of Human Rights against the abuse of stop and search powers.

I've documented here the political campaigning we've been doing against the abuse of this law and how photographers in particular are being stopped from properly documenting protest and dissent.

Pennie's victory should lead to the scrapping of Section 44 or at the very least severely restricted powers for the police to stop people without a real suspicion. I know from talking to Pennie today what a stress the whole case has placed on her and her life but she's done civil liberties and journalism a real service - and we thank her, and Liberty, who supported the case.

This week I've also organised a major meeting with the union's legal service providers to review the operation of our services, chaired the TUC's trades councils consultative committee, met with a photographer about a case they are pursuing, with the staff at Justice for Colombia and met another of those tendering for the redesign contract for The Journalist. I think the editor, Christine, is nearing a decision on who to appoint.

I've also provided MPs with a number of possible questions about public service broadcasting and the Independently Financed News Consortia for DCMS questions later this month. I also did an interview about the threats against journalists from neo-nazi website Redwatch.

This afternoon I've meetings with Bectu and with our broadcasting organiser to talk about BBC pay and pensions.

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