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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.

Photo © Paul Mattsson
Guy Smallman covering a protest in Brussels in December 2001

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.

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.

Last modified: 20 Nov 2009 - © 2009 contributors
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