Guy Smallman overturns Geneva ruling
LONDON Freelance Branch member Guy Smallman today (20/11/09) won
the right to compensation for being shot
in the leg with a "percussion grenade" while photographing protests at the G8 summit on 1 June 2003.
Guy was originally awarded compensation - to be determined - by a lower court for
the canton of Geneva, only to see the cantonal appeal court deny that
the State of Geneva had any responsibility for his injuries. That court did so
despite the grenade having been fired up at Guy as he climbed stairs away from
the police, whose regulations state that these weapons may only be fired down
at the ground.
|Guy Smallman covering a protest in Brussels in December 2001
On 20 November the Swiss Federal appeal tribunal dismissed that dismissal as
"arbitrary" - so Guy will, eventually, gets some money. Dominique Diserens,
General Secretary of the Swiss journalists' union Impressum, deplored the
length of time it is taking Guy to get justice. The Tribunal awarded Guy £2950
in expenses and sent the case back to determine the level of damages and/or compensation.