The COVID-19 pandemic has changed daily life for many of us around the world.
But one of the scarier trends that we are seeing is that people who try to document these changes are being attacked and in some cases by the very authorities charged with protecting them.
Such are the allegations lodged against some South African police officers who apparently beat a photojournalist twice because he attempted to photograph the authorities enforcing the country’s lockdown measures.
According to new outlets in South Africa, Paul Nthoba, owner of Mohokare News, was beaten after being called to investigate reports of lax enforcement of quarantine measures. When he arrived, he noticed that there were four police on the scene which was contrary to reports that enforcement was lack given this presence.
For some reason, taking pictures of the police – in order to prove that they were taking things seriously – resulted in Nthoba getting beaten by them. When he later went to the police station to file a complaint, he was allegedly beaten again or, as PetaPixel reports, the same officers “proceeded to slap, punch and kick him in full view of a senior officer at the station.”
Nthoba was then held in a jail cell for four hours before being released but not before receiving a charge of “obstructing law enforcement.” This charge could result in six months in jail. Interestingly, in addition to this charge, the police are also charging him with failure to present a valid COVID-19 work permit.
Since the reports of that attack on Nthoba, the local journalist community in South Africa has rallied around him and provided support for his cause.
What’s your take on this story? What’s your opinion of the lockdown measures where you live? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below if you like.
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