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MATT calls for probe into threats

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Media Association (Matt) has called for an investigation into threats against journalists by members of the Defence Force on Thursday. In a statement yesterday, Matt said the action of members of the Defence Force on Thursday when they sought to threaten and intimidate journalists covering a legitimate story in a public space, in Port-of-Spain, was alarming. “If the claim is accurate, and we have no doubt it is, that the lives of journalists were threatened by a soldier pointing a gun at them, then it must be criminally investigated and those culpable face the full extent of the law,” the association said.

Law enforcement officers must be made to clearly understand the scope of their powers and the role of the media, it stressed. “Matt cannot take this matter lightly, given the continuing deterioration of relations between law enforcement and certain communities in Trinidad, and the increasing number of reports by journalists fearful of covering the news. “Matt expects National Security Minister Gary Griffith and the seniors within the Police Service and Defence Force will investigate this latest report and act immediately, as journalists must be free from fear in carrying out their journalistic duties.” Matt also advised all journalists to take the necessary precautions when in the field, and said media houses should ensure the security of their staff.