Monday, August 03, 2009

GPA fires at Government for chiding Woolford

The Guyana Press Association (GPA) condemns strongly and utterly the Government of Guyana for its unwarranted and unprovoked attack on veteran Guyanese journalist, Enrico Woolford, for simply reporting the proceedings in a New York Court.

The entire media corps holds the Government of Guyana responsible for the safety of Mr. Woolford, his staff, his company and his family and any property associated with him and them.

The Government of Guyana is the elected administration of the country and should immediately cease being insensitive to robust criticism and evidence being led in a Court of Competent jurisdiction.

The GPA finds the singling out of Mr. Woolford a gross attack on freedom of expression to the extent that it seeks to not only question the credibility of sworn testimony but also intimidate this well-respected journalist.

Rather than erroneously identify Mr. Woolford as the villain, the Government of Guyana and in particular Caribbean Community (Caricom) Chairman, President Bharrat Jagdeo should engage the parties named in the court documents in meaningful investigations that would lead to clarity.

It seems that Mr. Jagdeo, who is charged with upholding the Laws of Guyana and the Caricom Charter of Civil Society, has arrogated unto himself the right to impugn the character of other persons in society and at the same time enjoys immunity from prosecution.

None of those claims by Mr. Jagdeo has been made in a Court of Competent Jurisdiction, whether in Guyana or overseas, compared with those contained in testimony in the trial of witness tampering against Mr. Robert Simels, former lawyer for confessed drug-lord, Roger Khan.

The GPA shall be taking steps to immediately advise our regional umbrella Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), the France-headquartered Reporters Without Borders, and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) that the Government of Guyana has put at risk the safety of Mr. Woolford, his staff, family and property.

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