Photographer held for two hours after refusing to give police photos


The NRC newspaper has made a formal protest after one of its freelance photographers was held for two hours for refusing to hand over photos taken of a fight.

Chris Keulen was taking photographs of a protest about noise made by Nato surveillance aircraft near the Brunssum military base in Limburg when a fight broke out between a protestor and a member of the US military who was not in uniform.

Keulen took photographs of the fight and he and the NRC reporter went to the police to give statements about the incident. There Keulen says he was asked to hand over the photographs, which he refused to do.

The atmosphere turned ‘intimidating’, the NRC quotes him as saying. The camera was eventually taken from him by force.

The NRC says the police acted illegally and that they need court permission to seize journalists’ photographs. The police argue that legislation on protecting sources did not apply because the NRC itself was the source of the information.

The public prosecution department is now looking into the matter and MPs from the liberal democratic party D66 have asked the justice minister for a statement.