Jun 08, 2016 News
The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) last night condemned the “despicable” terror attack against Kaieteur News which occurred on Saturday while staff members attended a wake for one of their colleagues, Dale Andrews.
The GPSU said that it upholds Freedom of the Press and any attempt to suppress investigative journalism and the dissemination of information will be vigorously condemned.
With this in mind, the entity said that the tossing of a fragmentation grenade at the vehicle of Kaieteur News publisher, Glenn Lall and in the vicinity of others can only be seen as an act of terrorism and cannot be condoned in any society.
“This act, by cowardly person(s), to intimidate and cow the newspaper into silence should not be tolerated. Kaieteur News should continue to expose wrongdoing wherever and whenever they occur.”
The GPSU is of the view that this type of behaviour should not go unpunished and called for the Guyana Police Force to “work strenuously in finding the architect(s) of this heinous act and bring the perpetrators to justice”.
The coalition administration has also condemned the wicked and dastardly attempt by certain “intellectual authors” to cause grave harm and terror against the newspaper.
The Government in a strongly worded statement said that it is alarmed by the act of domestic terrorism which was attempted against the newspaper and it stands resolutely in defence of press freedom in Guyana. The Government noted its relief that no one was hurt or damage caused to any property.
The Government noted nonetheless that such a cowardly attack must strengthen the resolve of the citizenry that evil, in all its forms and incarnations, must not be allowed to prevail and must be relentlessly and uncompromisingly conquered.
The coalition administration said, “We do not believe that the dropping of a grenade, even if a fake device, alongside a newspaper publisher’s vehicle could be considered a joke or a hoax. It was grave and an undisputed act of terror designed to intimidate, harm and create fear.”
The APNU+AFC administration said that it commits its full support to the Guyana Police Force as it investigates “this sickening attempted act” of terrorism. It also looked forward to the perpetrators and possible intellectual authors being identified, pursued, arrested and placed before the court and being dealt with to the full extent of the law.
“Kaieteur News is one of Guyana’s leading independent media organizations that have a proud and zealously guarded reputation for fearlessness in reporting government excesses, corruption and abuse of power, particularly under the previous administration.”
“Most recently, the newspaper has been at the forefront of aggressively and relentlessly reporting on the findings of the many audits of state agencies, the revelations that have oftentimes been explosive. This attack comes against the background that Kaieteur News, its staff and its owner have been subject to relentless assaults under the previous regime.”
The Government recalled that on several occasions, this newspaper had been a victim of terrorism under the previous regime.
It reminded that it was under the previous administration that five Kaieteur News pressmen – Eion Wegman, Richard Stuart, Mark Maikoo, Shazim Mohamed and Chetram Persaud – were heartlessly slaughtered in August 2006 in what was the worst attack on the media in the history of this nation.
The Government recalled that Kaieteur News’ leading columnist, Fredrick Kissoon had faeces thrown at him in a case which recently had a major breakthrough.
The administration also recalled that the Kaieteur News publisher was targeted by the tax authorities and it was later exposed that the said authorities were under political direction to so do.
Vehicles attached to former government officials were also seen casing or scoping and videotaping the Kaieteur News premises in the past. The government reminded that the former regime had at one time banned all state ads from being printed in this newspaper.
Also, the Government said that a former government official was heard on audio recording issuing threats of a violent and deadly attack on Kaieteur News.
The statement said that the nation has emerged from those times of oppressive press intimidation and attacks and all must ensure that Guyana does not plunge back into those dark and evil days.
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