After upbraided by press association, APNU+AFC denies its Parliamentarian attacked NCN cameramen
After being upbraided by the Guyana Press Association (GPA) over complaints by cameramen at the National Communications Network (NCN) that they were attacked and intimidated by an opposition Parliamentarian, the APNU+AFC coalition denied the attack and said it was malicious.
The GPA on Monday issued a statement condemning acts of intimidation and attacks on media workers.
The allegation claims multiple incidents of NCN media workers being confronted by representatives of the APNU+AFC opposition during the discharge of their duties.
The latest incident is alleged to have occurred on November 6, 2022, at Arcadia Four Corner, Mocha, East Bank Demerara involving two cameramen from NCN and APNU+AFC Member of Parliament Nima Flue-Bess.
“MP Flue-Bess demanded that the cameramen present their IDs. Upon stating their place of employment, the cameramen were told there was no need for them to record the event. This was in spite of other cameras that were in place to cover the said event,” NCN said in a statement on Monday.
The statement noted that it was not the first time NCN’s staff was “attacked and intimidated and denied access to events hosted by APNU + AFC” and went on to list numerous incidents alleging hostile behaviour from the APNU+AFC.
The GPA took on the case an issued a statement on Monday.
“We urge the Leader of the Opposition Mr Aubrey Norton to first and foremost set the tone of relations with the media by being forthcoming with proper and detailed answers rather than being abrasive and evasive when asked for details and supporting evidence,” the GPA wrote.
The Press Association called on politicians and the general public to respect the need for media workers to operate in an environment free of intimidation.
“Gone should be the era when a TV news camera is snatched and taken to Congress Place, media workers are labeled vultures or identified in an unflattering manner by political figures at public meetings,” the GPA said.
However, APNU+AFC refuted the allegations levelled by NCN, labelling it as “malicious” and with “ill-intent”.
“We categorically refute these assertions as completely defamatory, mischievous and intended to create conflict between the political parties, and the media and as a feeble attempt to justify NCN’s refusal to allow the opposition equal air time,” the statement wrote.
Speaking to the issue on November 6, the APNU+AFC said Flue-Bess approached two “unfamiliar men” attempting to record the meeting without a press pass or any form of identification and inquired whether they were members of the media and representatives of which organization.
“The Coalition claimed the NCN cameramen called the name of a different media house and although that was the case, “they were allowed to document the meeting.”
At no time were media operatives attacked by any APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, supporter or any person at the public meeting in Mocha, East Bank of Demerara on Sunday 6th November 2022,” APNU+AFC stated.