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Wholly unacceptable

Published: 
Monday, September 18, 2017
PM on photographer’s attack:

The reported physical and abusive attack on media personnel is “wholly unacceptable and should not be initiated or encouraged by any person, under any circumstances”, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has said.

Rowley’s position was communicated via email at 2.08 pm yesterday .

Earlier yesterday morning, the Opposition UNC castigated the Prime Minister and National Security Minister for not condemning the attack on journalists and on freedom of the press.

The responses followed last Friday’s incident where T&T Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva— following the alleged Petrotrin”fake oil” issue— was attacked while attempting to take photos of A&V Oil and Gas compound in Penal.

De Silva was standing on the road, attempting to take photographs when a man approached him in a vehicle. De Silva said the driver drove straight at him in what appeared to be an attempt to hit him.

He said a man came out of the vehicle and hit him in his face, injuring his mouth. Another man also hit him across the side of his face. One of the men stamped on De Silva’s eye-glasses which fell. His camera was also damaged.

Yesterday’s statement from Rowley added,”Where any laws have been broken it is unreservedly expected that adequate law enforcement is available so that the law will take its course.”

“In so far as these reports relate to problems and allegations at State-owned Petrotrin operations, it would be in the interest of all parties and the nation as a whole, if necessary, investigations of all aspects of these operations, are permitted to be conducted and concluded in such a manner as to facilitate clear and definitive conclusions which would allow the necessary accountability that the circumstances demand.”