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Trinidad Prime Minister: “Grave Concern” over Police Raid on Newspaper

Above: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Photo: OPM Trinidad)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The police raid on Trinidadian newspaper Newsday and the home of one of its senior reporters is viewed “with grave concern” by the government, Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a statement yesterday.

Persad-Bissessar said her government had no prior knowledge of the action, and called for an immediate explanation from Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs.

“The execution of a search warrant on a media house by police officers is an extreme act,” she said. “As such, it must be proportionate to the nature of the offense under investigation and the circumstances of alleged crime.”

She said the government did not know what prompted such “strong action” but expected a “mature, disciplined, professional and responsible use of force by the policies the execution of their duties.”

“Our constitution reaffirms its deep commitment to the protection and preservation of the independence and freedom of the media,” she said. “The rights and freedoms of every journalist and media house will be strenuously defended. We believe in the open access of information to journalists rather than obstruction of the process.”

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