Trinidad and Tobago High Court rules police raid on newspaper violated constitutional right of press freedom
The Trinidad and Tobago High Court found that a 2020 police raid on the headquarters of the “Daily Express” was unconstitutional and infringed on the outlet’s right to press freedom.
Legislators in Trinidad and Tobago are taking aim at a spate of pernicious issues online – ranging from hate to phishing and fraud – with a draft cybercrime law, following in the footsteps of many governments around the world that have passed comprehensive legislation addressing online crimes.
The Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association had previously criticised what it viewed as the government’s failure to allow sufficient public consultation on the bill, which was introduced in May 2014.
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) condemns continued unlawful and defamatory social media attacks on women journalists in Trinidad and Tobago.
“I decided to come to Trinidad because I did not want them to win,” journalist Mark Bassant told IPI. “I wanted to take back my life and do what I do best for the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.”
Press freedom advocates in Trinidad and Tobago are concerned about a cybercrime bill, currently being discussed in Parliament this week, which in its current language imposes disturbing restrictions on the work of the media.
Investigative TV journalist Mark Bassant was forced to flee Trinidad after learning that someone had ordered a hit on him in early May. Bassant had been reporting on the murder of a high-profile attorney.
A bill to partially decriminalise defamation in Trinidad and Tobago has received final parliamentary approval, the latest sign of growing momentum around the International Press Institute’s Campaign to Repeal Criminal Defamation in the Caribbean.
The Libel and Defamation (Amendment) Bill, 2013 would amend existing criminal law to abolish the offence of malicious defamatory libel, while preserving the offence of defamatory libel known to be false.
The International Press Institute considers highly inappropriate recent remarks made by Trinidad and Tobago Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed to Dominic Kalipersad, head of news at CCN TV 6, accusing the media outlet of embarking “on a sad journey to discredit and destroy.”
Denyse Renne of the Trinidad Guardian and Asha Javeed of the Trinidad Express have been the target of public accusations and criticism by leading members of the ruling United National Congress (UNC), after reporting on a legal scandal that has rocked the administration of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Lawyers representing embattled former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner notified journalist Lasana Liburd that their client planned to sue for libel and defamation over a series of articles linking Warner to missing emergency aid money for Haiti.
IPI addressed an open letter to Dwayne Gibbs, Trinidad & Tobago’s Commissioner of Police, regarding recent intimidation tactics against journalists and media houses perpetrated by the police force.
According to ACM’s information, a team of police officers raided the offices of the “Newsday” newspaper in search of what they described as unlawfully-acquired information which led to a newspaper report on high-level conflict within the country’s Integrity Commission.