The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) has hit out at Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for what it says are his “continued attacks on members of the media”.
In a release yesterday, the association “condemned in the strongest possible way” Ramlogan’s “virulent attack” on a member of the media, Anika Gumbs, suggesting she continues to “lick up the Government” in the course of her duties.
Ramlogan made that particular statement on Monday during an interview on CNC3’s morning programme, commenting on an article written by Gumbs based on reports from the Police Complaints Authority and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service on the existence of a New Flying Squad.
“The Attorney General has shown his willingness to use the courts to get redress whenever he feels the Government’s interest has been wrongly harmed and if he has a shred of evidence that a journalist is ‘licking up the Government’ or that a Government official has been libelled, then he can seek redress under the law. To seek to intimidate any journalist is at best unbecoming of the holder of the Office of Attorney General,” MATT said.
MATT has made it clear that the freedom of the press must be jealously guarded and any attempt by any power to limit this freedom must be resisted by all right-thinking people; further, it is the duty of the media to report fairly and fearlessly on matters of public importance, the organisation added.
In that context the Attorney General’s focus on how the information came into the journalist’s possession and less so on the content is striking, MATT said.
“MATT stands resolutely in defence of media freedom and urges its members to continue to freely, accurately and fearlessly cover the news, and not be cowered by the attacks of the Attorney General or anyone else who yields power,” the organisation said.