The Guyana Press Association (GPA) registered today its condemnation of continued attacks on media professionals by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo. In fact, the GPA said that if Jagdeo continues with such behaviour, it will not hesitate to call on its members to boycott his press events.

The Association added, “We will hold Jagdeo accountable if any harm is brought to our colleagues in keeping with his attacks.”

The Association’s comments in this regard are in wake of Jagdeo’s most recent attack on GPA President, Nazima Raghubir. At his last press conference, Jagdeo attempted to deflect from answering questions from Raghubir, while deeming one of her queries to be “stupid”.

In a statement to the media, the GPA said, “These (attacks) are consistent with (those) he made in the past as a sitting Head of State on political platforms. These were, and are not limited to, referring to journalists as ‘Carrion crows and vultures’ and ‘opposition media’ and singling out media houses. Over the months, Jagdeo has referred to private media outlets as ‘fake news’, ‘biased news’, or ‘government aligned news’.”

The Press Association continued, “He is on record saying that he will call on his supporters to boycott one newscast and its parent company. He has singled out the privately owned Kaieteur News, the state-owned Chronicle, and former GPA President Gordon Moseley, accusing him of being ‘government aligned’. Jagdeo’s comments are complemented by equally vitriolic and dangerous statements carried on his personal and party social media pages.”

It added, “In two recent posts, a news entity was referred to as ‘fake news’ and a journalist as a ‘propagandist’, both of which attracted negative and threatening comments.” Further to this, the GPA said it recognises that the hierarchy of the Jagdeo party supports these attacks given their continued silence. In this regard, the Association sought to remind the Jagdeo-led PPP that a free press whose work is done without hindrance and attacks, is among the basic tenets of democracy that the party preaches about.

Additionally, the GPA said it stands by editorial sanctions media houses see fit to take in response to any continued attacks on the press. The GPA also sought to remind all political parties, politicians and personalities, that journalists have a right to conduct their duties without fear of intimidation and in this case, without attack.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here