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PNM media group under cyber attack
The PNM’s Facebook and Twitter group has come under attack from cyber “agents” for publishing pictures of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime ministerial adviser Sasha Mohammed and ex-SSA head Reshmi Ramnarine, according to the group. The party has a micro unit—known as “PNM TV”—which utilises electronic and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The group highlights current political issues and provokes dialogue among PNM members, as well as those from UNC, PP, COP and others in a general social network audience.
The unit was created by a group of PNM members.
In a statement yesterday, the group, noting freedom of the press, denounced the attack and threats on its sites, as “actions of the ruling coalition and its agents to stifle media freedom.” The PNM group stated: “Certain members or ‘agents,’ as they call themselves, have taken issue with the work of the PNM media unit after the unit posted related local newspaper articles and photographs of the former SSA director Ramnarine and her famous friends, following the recent fiasco. “This was met with immense hostility and contempt from UNC-led and dominated coalition agents who decided to call and threaten one of the members of the PNM media unit,” it added.
The group stated that their member was told that he would be guaranteed to not only lose his Facebook profile, but he also “would be out of a job for the next five years” if he did not desist from posting the following:
• unattractive pictures of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar;
• photographs of PM adviser Sasha Mohammed;
• photographs of Sasha Mohammed and Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh; and
• photographs of Gopeesingh with Reshmi Ramnarine.
The group’s release stated: “But we are not going to be silenced. These are not edited or doctored photographs—both the articles and some of the photos appeared in the print media.” The group’s media management team has called on the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the Association of Independent Media to assist “in warding off those who wish to trample on our democratic freedoms. “It started with the firing of Fazeer Mohammed and it will only escalate into supreme dictatorship if we do not take a stance,” the group stated.
PNM MP Colm Imbert said: “If true, the threats are very unfortunate because all this group is doing is circulating photos and other printed material that appear to be genuine. “I can understand how people may feel that their private business is exposed but this PNM group is no different to any media outfit and this situation really goes to the root of freedom of the press,” he said. They aren’t doing anything libelous or defamatory, so I would condemn any threat to them in strongest possible terms.”
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