22 Jul 2003

New Zealand film crew assaulted in Solomon Islands

11:08 am on 22 July 2003

A New Zealand cameraman says he and his Solomon Islands soundman were kicked and punched by police, as they tried to film the export of wild dolphins.

The police in Honiara have locked down the capital's airport, as around 30 bottlenose dolphins are prepared to be flown to aquatic parks in Mexico and elsewhere.

The Freelance cameraman, Frank Atu, says local police beat chased him and beat two of the local crew as he was trying to film at a beach where the dolphins were being held in pens.

And he says he was kicked before escaping uniformed police at Honiara airport while trying to film a cargo jet scheduled to carry the dolphins.

"When we were filming in the airport, there were a couple of police officers and militia that chased us, and they tried to grab us and tried to punch us and stuff like that, and I was able to get away from all of those things"

The Freelance cameraman, Frank Atu.