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C'bean media group lashes Samuda over Asafa-Sherone interview tape issue

Published:Tuesday | July 30, 2013 | 10:09 AM

The Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers has weighed in on the controversy over the Asafa-Sherone tapes, decrying the actions of attorney, Milton Samuda.



Samuda, the attorney for Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, has admitted that following a recorded interview with the athletes by two journalists last week, he requested the tapes, because the reporters had asked questions that were not pre approved.



Television Jamaica says its tape was erased and returned the next day along with a copy of an edited version.



Meanwhile, The Gleaner reported last week that its tape was erased and returned the same time.



Wesley Gibbings, the president of the Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers, says he finds this alarming.



Samauda has insisted that the tapes were not seized, saying they were requested and the journalists complied.



However, that has not appeased Gillings.



"Regardless of how he came in possession of the equipment, ACM (Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers) finds Samuda's action obnoxious and a violation of press freedom as practised in modern democracies across the world," Gibbings said.



He noted that tampering with journalists' equipment and sanitising their stories or pictures is par for the course in autocratic and undemocratic regimes, none of whom can match Jamaica's "exalted" position as a leader in press freedom in the Americas.



Gibbings said he hopes Samuda's action has not blemished Jamaica's image in the wider international media community.



He also wants the Jamaican Bar Association and other Civil Society Groups to call out Samuda for what he describes as his foul play and infringement on Freedom of Expression enshrined in the Jamaican Constitution which the Press exercises on behalf of citizens.



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