The Guyana Press Association calls on the Guyana Police Force to execute an in-depth investigation into the presence of a live grenade near a vehicle owned by the publisher of Kaieteur News, Mr Glenn Lall, on the evening of Saturday June 4, 2016. Regardless of the motive, the act alone has a chilling effect on press freedom, the GPA said in a statement.
“We take this opportunity to call on the intellectual authors and/or perpetrators to desist from such a dastardly act,” the local press body stated.
It said all stakeholders in the international community, opposition, government and civil society must speak out against what seems like a calculated act to intimidate the work of Kaieteur News.
“The media in Guyana must be allowed to carry out its crucial work of being society’s watchdog, ensuring transparency and efficacy in state and the private sector, without frightening distractions like these,” the GPA stated.
The GPA said it notes the government’s prompt statement condemning the attack and of its full support to the Guyana Police Force in the investigations.
“We stand in solidarity with the staff of Kaieteur News and the wider media community in this period,” the press body stated.
Meanwhile, the Times Media Group, comprising of Guyana Times, TVG Ch 28 and RGI 89.5 in a statement released Sunday, condemned in the strongest possible language the attack on the Kaieteur News in the form of a grenade being hurled at the vehicle of the publisher.
According to the release: “The press and, by extension, the media, is regarded as the ‘fourth estate’ because of the role it plays in securing the freedom of all the other estates – especially the ordinary citizens. Any act that can be construed as acting to intimidate the media constitutes an attack on the foundations of democracy. That the act was done while the personnel of the newspaper were mourning the passing of a respected journalist makes the action even more reprehensible.” The Times Media Group says it expects the Police will “respond with the highest level of professionalism and diligence so that the perpetrators of the dastardly act will be brought to justice.”