Iranian detained for harassing cameraman

By Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Jan 12 2014 09:04 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2014 05:04 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- An Iranian national and his Filipino cousin were detained at the Zamboanga City police office after allegedly harassing and attacking a cameraman while a closure order on their business was being served by City Hall last Saturday.

According to reports, Radio Mindanao Network immediately deployed a cameraman after noticing a commotion in the area.

Neighboring establishments said they will be filing grave coercion, robbery and harassment against the Iranian, Zamboanga City resident Mohammad Moghimi, 36, and his Filipino cousin Qamal Salidani, 33, who was raised in Iran.

Both are operating a videoke bar in Pilar Street, Zamboanga City, which is near the RMN E-Media production facility in the area.

A complaint was initially sent to Patrol 117 by neighbors complaining about the noise coming from the establishment, which was disturbing the patients in an adjacent hospital.

Authorities arrived at the establishment and reportedly asked them to turn the volume low, but the management of the videoke bar refused.

The report reached City Hall on the same day and Benjie Barredo, a licensing officer, said he immediately went to inspect the videoke bar which was registered under a Filipino.

However, the Iranian and another companion refused to let Barredo inside and allegedly hid the documents.

Barredo, upon returning to the office, found out that the business permit of Moghimi has expired in 2012.

Moghimi denied allegations, claiming that the authorities were arrogant when they entered the establishment.

He also denied Barredo showed the closure order, which was why he did not allow him to enter the videoke bar.

He also complained against alleged discrimination and pointed out that some policemen shouted at him, noting that he is a foreigner and that should respect local laws.

Moghimi said he was forced to get the camera of RMN after the cameraman refused to delete and show them the video. He said he was concerned for the safety of his family and did not want his face to be shown on TV.

For its part, RMN said it will push through with its complaint of grave coercion, harassment and robbery against Moghimi after the Iranian allegedly refused to turn over the camera to them.