The SA National Editors' Forum has condemned as "outrageous" the arrest of a Radio Islam Inteernational reporter, according to a media release.

The media release reads:

The SA National Editors' Forum condemns the actions of the police in arresting a journalist while he was carrying out his duties reporting on an accident in Lenasia where a police van transporting prisoners had overturned.

Though the journalist, Radio Islam International news editor Azhar Vadi, had identified himself to the police and stated that he was reporting on the occurrence, the police grabbed him and bundled him into a police van, allegedly manhandling him while doing so.

They said he was being arrested for interfering with the police and confiscated his cellphone.

When a colleague tried to intervene, protesting that they were journalists doing their job, they said that Vadi would be charged with interfering with the police and would appear in court tomorrow (Wednesday).

SANEF condemns this outrageous conduct by the police especially in light of the journalists having identified themselves and having stated their purpose. The actions of the police carries the implication that they were trying to censor the journalists and prevent information about the accident becoming public knowledge.

Sanef requests an investigation into the conduct of the police for this unwarranted interference with journalists carrying out their duties.

Vadi was released on bail of R500 a few hours later.

Issued by: SA National Editors' Forum (SANEF)

For further comment please contact:

Jovial Rantao – SANEF Chairperson: 082 446 6008
Raymond Louw – SANEF Media Freedom Committee Chairperson: 011 646 8790 / 082 446 5155