Last Updated on Tuesday, 2 May 2023, 17:07 by Denis Chabrol
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and IFEX-ALC network condemn in the strongest possible terms the intimidation of journalists in Guyana and call on the Government to immediately set the tone for a cessation of such acts that ultimately serve to fertilise the ground for an escalation of such acts that can ultimately lead to physical harm.
The ACM and IFEX-ALC further implores the government to urge its supporters to refrain from intimidatory behaviour.
Guyana is a signatory to the Media Freedom Coalition which recognises that a strong democratic tradition requires a free and fair media. Threats and harassment of journalists run counter to that principle.
The ACM and IFEX-ALC note with concern the harassment directed towards Kaieteur News reporter Davina Bagot at a press conference hosted by President Mohamed Irfaan Ali. She has since been subjected to cyberbullying and personal attacks from government supporters. The President of the Guyana Press Association Nazima Raghubir has also been the victim of cyberbullying and personal attacks in the state-owned newspaper. It is important to note that Ms. Raghubir is also the vice-president of the ACM.
These are not isolated cases that are only confined to the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led administration as there have been instances in which the opposition and its supporters have also engaged in hostilities towards state media workers. Recently Guyana Chronicle’s Tamica Garnett was verbally abused by a senior member of People’s National Congress Reform she called for a comment. The ACM believes that there is no coincidence between the posture of senior political operatives and content in the State-owned media as well as a Facebook profile that is believed to be controlled by an associate or associates of the governing party.
The ACM and IFEX-ALC are calling for cooler heads to prevail and for politicians to exercise restraint and encourage their members and supporters to do the same.
The ACM and IFEX-ALC stands in solidarity with journalists Davina Bagot, Nazima Raghubir, Tamica Garnett and other media workers in Guyana in their quest to perform their duties freely. The organisations endorse steps that have been taken to report the two latest incidents to the Guyana Police Force and the Constitutional Women and Gender Equality Commission.