GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 11, CMC – The Guyana Press Association (GPA) says it condemns the “continued’ attacks on media professionals by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, saying that its views these attacks “as encouraging threats to the lives and livelihoods of our media professionals and media houses”.
In a statement, the GPA said that the latest attempt came in the form “of an attempt to deflect from answering questions as he quipped the question posed by journalist Nazima Raghubir as “stupid” last week during a news conference.
“The Opposition Leader’s attacks over the months have been documented by the GPA. These are consistent with attacks he made in the past as sitting Head of State from political platforms. These were and not limited to referring to journalists as “Carrion crows and vultures” and “opposition media” and singling out media houses”.
In its two-page statement, the GPA said that over the past months, Jagdeo has referred to private media outlets as “fake news,” ‘biased news” or “government-aligned news”.
It warned that the comments of the general secretary of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) “are complemented by equally vitriolic and dangerous statements carried on his personal and party social media pages”.
The GPA said that the hierarchy of the party, by its silence, “supports these attacks,” adding “we wish to remind this Jagdeo-led party that a free press whose work is done without hindrance and attacks is among the basic tenants of democracy that the party preaches about”.
“We hold Jagdeo accountable if any harm is brought to our colleagues in keeping with his attacks. If these attacks continue we will not hesitate to call on our members to boycott press events involving the Leader of the Opposition.
“Additional we stand by editorial sanctions media houses see fit to take in response to any continued attacks on the press,” the GPA said, reminding all political parties and others that “journalists have a right to conduct their duties without fear of intimidation and in this case without attack”.