Jess Hurd

Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’



I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist Mass Gathering. © Jess Hurd/

Today we celebrate ten years since the magnificent “Mass Photo Gathering” when thousands of photographers swarmed Trafalgar Square demanding their rights organised by press freedom campaign group,  I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist (@phnat).

Amateurs and professionals from across the land, armed with only their cameras and tiny placards, came to protest against increased police use of stop and search powers against photographers. 

In the weeks leading up to the event an avalanche of high profile stop and searches, threats and arrests of photographers highlighted once again the police were equating photography with the threat of terrorism. 

Leading architectural photographer and PHNAT organiser Grant Smith was one of those high profile cases. Whilst photographing the 300-year spire of Sir Christopher Wren’s Christ Church he was apprehended by City of London police. A squad of seven officers, in three cars and a riot van attended the scene and searched him under Section 44. 

© Jess Hurd/

BBC photographer Jeff Overs was also stopped under suspicion of terrorism reconnaissance while photographing St Paul’s Cathedral. Amateur photographer Andrew White was questioned by two police community support officers for photographing Christmas lights in Brighton. 

The issue was lampooned by Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell who depicted Police Community Support Officers arresting train spotters and automatic photo booths. On the day the BBC, ITN, CNN and Sky News all ran live reports and interviews from Trafalgar Square. Phnat had mobilised thousands and reached millions of people across the country and worldwide.

End of Section 44 in sight – find out more in our online pamphlet: I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist – A Brief History 

For the latest press freedom updates follow @phnat on Twitter or

Out, Proud and fighting for his life

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Nazir Uddin, a 22 asylum seeker is asking for the government to protect his life. Muslim Asian, Bangladeshi proud gay man, disowned by his family and under threat of deportation back to Bangladesh where he is under threat from an Islamic extremist group.

I was approached by Nazir and asked to take his photo and he told me his story, he wrote his own caption details. It is an honour to help him tell his story. This is his first UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park, East London.

Images are available to licence via


Calais Jungle Eviction

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Mother’s Day – Giving Birth in the Calais Jungle

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We spoke to Amir living with his wife Maryam and their three-month-old child Rosie, nicknamed ‘The Jungle Baby’, in a tiny caravan donated by a UK aid charity, on the southern side of the refugee camp in Calais known at the Jungle, the side due for eviction.

They had been in the camp seven months. They had fled Iran and tried to reach the UK, but after Amir suffered illnesses that led to time in hospital and Maryam becoming heavily pregnant they became stranded.

Amir was Muslim and Maryam a Christian. When asked what religion Rosie would be, Amir gestured up and down with his hand, cutting Rosie down the middle from head to toe, “She will be half and half,” he laughed.

When Rosie was born at the local hospital, Amir claimed the French authorities forced him to register for asylum in France, saying if he did not they would take his baby away and give her to another family.

“They said they would not let me take my baby back to the Jungle,” Amir said.

Amir claimed the authorities said his family would be helped and given a small room if he registered. Amir said the room was tiny, far too small for the three of them, but at least it was not the Jungle.

“We finished the asylum process, did the finger prints, then the government told us to go back and live in the Jungle,” Amir said.

Rosie was also hospitalised for 40 days, suffering Whooping Cough and had only recently recovered. Amir said without the help of the English volunteers in the camp, Rosie would have surely died.

We asked Maryam what they needed and she replied, “warm clothes for Rosie”.

With the eviction looming Amir said was unsure what they would do.

“As refugees where are we supposed to go?” he asked.

© Jason N. Parkinson / © Jess Hurd

Sunday Herald article on the eviction; “The Battle of Calais”

Images/video available to licence from;

Calais Jungle Eviction

Jungle Refugees Stitch Mouths

Dunkirk Refugees Squalid Conditions

Jungle Pre-Eviction

Dunkirk Refugees Squalid Conditions

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60 UK Teachers Volunteer In Jungle Camp

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Around 60 trade unionists, of them 30 UK teachers give up their half term holiday to teach refugees in the Calais Jungle. The school, Ecole Laïque du Chemin des Dunes has been built by volunteers in the makeshift camp and is under imminent threat of demolition by French authorities. Calais, France.

Images available to license from

Jungle Pre-Eviction Photo-Gallery

See Jason N. Parkinson’s video here

© Jess Hurd/

Jungle Pre-Eviction

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Calais – Open The Border

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Migrant protest demands that the UK open the border at the Eurostar Calais Terminal. That refugees are not animals and should not have to like in squalid conditions in the Calais camp known as “The Jungle”. France.

© Jess Hurd/

Images available from

Human Rights Lecture


Oxford Human Rights Festival


Myself and video journalist Jason N. Parkinson are honoured to have been asked to speak about our joint work at the 12th Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival this year.

We will be showing film and photographs, with Q&A at the Ultimate Picture Palace  –

Tickets are available to book here for The Life and Work of a Video/Photojournalist on Wednesday 26th February 2014 6-8pm

Exhibition – Ethnic Cleansing

I have also been commissioned by the Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival to exhibit photographs about the persecution of gypsies and travellers, an issue that I have documented for 20 years.  The exhibition will run throughout the festival 24-28th February at the Old Fire Station.

The featured image is one from the exhibition – Police and bailiffs evict travellers and their supporters from Dale Farm, Basildon. Essex. © Jess Hurd/


Dale Farm – High Court

Message left on a paper napkin outside the Royal Courts of Justice reads:

“No Ethnic Cleansing in Our Land”

Travellers from Dale Farm are supported by campaigning actress Vanessa Redgrave at the High Court as they lodge an eviction appeal against clearance of their site by Basildon Council. The Strand, London.

See slideshow here

For my 5 year archive of images from Dale Farm please visit

See traveller wedding blog posts here

© Jess Hurd/

Iranian Hunger Striker

Iranian hunger striker Kiarash Bayari, with his lips sewn together in protest against his refused asylum application. He has been tortured and faces the death penalty in Iran. Mayday protest, International Workers Day. Clerkenwell Green, London.
© Jess Hurd/

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