Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP, has expressed strong condemnation of what she says is the Government’s “censorship of private media houses”.
The Opposition Leader was reacting to reports that Government appeared to be preventing private media houses from covering certain State events, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and a need to reduce disease transmission.
According to Mrs Persad-Bissessar, who released an official statement on the matter, this is another “red flag” hinting at dictatorship, which should not be ignored.
The full text of the Opposition Leader’s statement, follows…
Opposition Leader: I strongly condemn the PNM’s censorship of private media houses.
It is extremely alarming to learn the news that the Rowley Government is officially banning private media houses from covering certain events, allowing access to only state-run media house Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT).
Let me be clear – this policy is tantamount to state censorship of our independent media. And it is yet another glaring red flag that this PNM government views itself as a dictatorial regime that is above the rule of law and doesn’t need to answer to the public.
State media house Trinidad and Tobago Television plays a vital role in the media landscape of our nation. Its duty is to provide information free from external commercial and political influences. It is clear that the Rowley regime has now reduced it to nothing more than an organ of political propaganda.
Currently, the citizens of our nation are under a State of Emergency where certain rights and freedoms have been suspended. During this critical time, citizens must have trust in the institutions which are meant to serve their interests.
By implementing this draconian measure the PNM has broken public trust in the information the state disseminates.
I call on all citizens to stand up for our democracy and demand the Rowley regime immediately end this grotesque attempt to silence our media.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition