Pressure mounts on Police to expedite probe

first_imgKN grenade attackKressure is mounting on the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to intensify its probe into the hurling of a live hand grenade, which was reportedly found near the vehicle of the Publisher of the Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall.The Guyana Press Association (GPA) is the latest body to mount calls for the Police to execute an in-depth investigation into the presence of the explosive near Lall’s vehicle on Saturday evening.“Regardless of the motive, the act alone has a chilling effect on press freedom,” the GPA said in a statement Monday, as it called on the intellectual authors or perpetrators to desist from such dastardly acts.“All stakeholders in the international community, Opposition, Government and civil society must speak out against what seems like a calculated act to intimidate the work of Kaieteur News. The media in Guyana must be allowed to carry out its crucial work of being society’s watchdog, ensuring transparency and efficacy in State and the Private Sector, without frightening distractions like these,” the GPA said .The Press Association said it took note of the Government’s “prompt” statement condemning the attack and of its full support for the Police in probing the matter.“We stand in solidarity with the staff of Kaieteur News and the wider media community in this period,” the Association said.Meanwhile, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) in a statement on Monday also condemned the act.“If this is a heinous attempt to muzzle the media, such actions have no place in our democratic society and we urge the Guyana Police Force to expedite their investigation so as to bring the perpetrators to justice in the shortest possible time,” the PSC said.The Commission said that it stood with Kaieteur News and the rest of the media fraternity on this issue.On Sunday, the Times Media Group, comprising Guyana Times, TVG Ch 28 and RGI 89.5, also condemned in the strongest possible language the attack.“The press and, by extension, the media, is regarded as the ‘fourth estate’ because of the role it plays in securing the freedom of all the other estates – especially the ordinary citizens. Any act that can be construed as acting to intimidate the media constitutes an attack on the foundations of democracy. That the act was done while the personnel of the newspaper were mourning the passing of a respected Journalist makes the action even more reprehensible,” the statement said.The Times Media Group said it expected the Police to “respond with the highest level of professionalism and diligence so that the perpetrators of the dastardly act will be brought to justice”.Shortly after the attack, the Government of Guyana issued a statement condemning the incident.The Government said it was alarmed by the attempted “act of domestic terrorism” against Kaieteur News which has been in the forefront “of aggressively and relentlessly reporting on the findings of the many audits of state agencies, the revelations that have oftentimes been explosive”.“The coalition Government stands resolutely in defence of press freedom in Guyana and condemns, in the strongest possible manner, this heinous and dastardly act of cowardice against Kaieteur News. The coalition Government is thankful, as are all right-thinking Guyanese, that no lives or limbs were lost and there was no damage to property,” the Government said in the statement.The Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) also condemned the act and called for an impartial investigation into the incident.However, a Party official said the PPP/C was taking note of the ill-informed and unfounded conclusion of the APNU/AFC Government that the attack stemmed from the Kaieteur News reporting on the recent audits, seeking to somehow pin this dastardly act on the PPP. The official remained that the PPP/C when it took office in 1992 was the Party that restored press freedom in Guyana and, as such, would not seek to undermine this sacred right.The official also reminded that the local media was allowed, unhindered for 23 years, to criticise the work of the PPP/C while in office.The Party official reissued a call for the Police to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.last_img

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