Thu | Aug 17, 2017

PAJ urges immediate investigation into threats made against media worker

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 11:38 AM

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has come out in support of a television cameraman who has become the victim of harassment since last week's publication of controversial comments made by Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller.

See full PAJ statements below:

The Press Association of Jamaica is alarmed at the threats being made to a CVM cameraman and the harassment of him and his family, as a direct result of his performing his duties.

Following the publication last week of a story about controversial comments made by Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller while on a political party platform, the cameraman has been receiving threatening and abusive phone calls. This has been exacerbated by the harassment of him and his family, as he continues to do his job.

“It is ironic that this is happening even as we celebrate National Journalism Week,” says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller.

“Our colleague was doing his job. He brought to national attention comments by one of our elected representatives, the Opposition Leader no less, that sparked a national dialogue, and attracted significant criticism.  This is exactly the role that media workers are supposed to play in informing the public, and we are very disturbed that his life and safety may now be at risk as a result.”

The threats have been reported to the police.

“We understand that the police have been very helpful,” says Jackson Miller. “We thank them for their efforts so far and strongly urge them to speedily complete their investigations into this matter, which is of great concern to not just the media community, but to the wider society.

“Press freedom is one of the foundation stones of any democratic society, and we reject and condemn these actions by thugs trying to intimidate our colleague. We stand with him and our colleagues at CVM, and we encourage and support him as he and his family go through this difficult time.”