Statement on the Detainment of Maciek Nabrdalik

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Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII for The New York Times. The belongings of the photographer after soldiers emptied his car.

VII Photo Agency condemns the action of the Polish military, who unlawfully detained a group of Polish media, including VII photographer Maciek Nabrdalik while on assignment for The New York Times on the Polish-Belarus border on November 16, 2021.

Using tactics more likely to be seen on the other side of the border, they attempted to intimidate and prevent the journalists from working. Media freedom in the EU is a fundamental right that applies to all member states enshrined in the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights; press freedom is also enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Polish Government and its military are not exempt from guaranteeing these rights.