“MATT condemns any form of intimidation against media workers, whether it be veiled or otherwise…”
The following MATT release is in response to a statement by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, which criticised MATT Vice-President Joel Julien for the association’s missive on Thursday.
The MATT statement criticised police officers for their ‘heavy-handed and unprofessional conduct’ during an exercise at Radio and TV Jaagriti and claimed that the lawmen did not produce a warrant. Griffith has refuted MATT’s claims:
The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) takes its mandate to defend freedom of the press seriously and will continue to do so despite any attempt to single out or intimidate any member of its executive.
MATT stands by its release issued on Thursday 18th April, 2019, highlighting a situation at Radio and TV Jaagriti involving officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
That statement was released after MATT received written reports from two individuals who were present at the time of the incident.
Based on those reports and operating within our purview, MATT raised the concerns expressed by its members.
MATT condemns any form of intimidation against media workers, whether it be veiled or otherwise.
MATT respects the work of the TTPS and Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, and will never actively choose to obstruct them from performing their duties. We, however, will always defend the constitutional right of Freedom of the Press in this country in the face of all adversity.
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Actually, the TTPS has not proven MATT to be wrong yet:
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has until Friday to provide a copy of the warrant the police claimed they used to search the premises of Central Broadcasting Services (CBS), umbrella company for TV and Radio Jaagriti. The company’s CEO is Satnarayan Maharaj, head of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha.
The police searched the station after the Telecommunications Authority of TT (TATT) issued a standard warning to CBS.
The notice came hours after Maharaj was seen on TV Jaagriti’s programme Maha Sabha Strikes Back, where he said of the people of Tobago that they were lazy and the men were rapists.
The police were investigating Maharaj under the Sedition Act.
One of Maharaj’s attorneys, Dinesh Rambally, said Maharaj’s legal team wrote to the CoP last Thursday giving him seven days to produce a copy of the warrant.
Rambally said, “We haven’t gotten a response from the commissioner as yet. He said there was a warrant, so what is the difficulty in giving us a copy?
“That is the logical question to ask and easily answered. Why is it we couldn’t get a copy when they executed that warrant? While he is ranting and raving that there was a warrant and, ‘Don’t be foolish, there would have been a warrant,’ we are saying, ‘Okay, if you had a warrant, why didn’t you just let us see it?'”
Rambally said on Tuesday’s programme on Jaagriti footage was aired showing attorneys asking for the warrant, and the police on the scene were recorded saying no, there was not, and they would have to take legal advice on it.
Seems to me that all gangs with names ending in “TT” is fulla SHITT. Take your pick….
not two t’s.one will do like hunt.then rhyme it.
It’s a shame that MATT just isn’t doing journalism a favor and has done a disservice to its honest members.
Who gives a shit what MATT thinks!
MATT comes over to me as another one of the many pappy show organisations we have in T&T.
It’s just like all their news. Pinch of salt very small pinch
Joel Julien did not do himself or MATT any good in his live interview on TV6 last night. He was rambling all over the place. It was not clear exactly what he was objecting to. As a journalist himself, he must know that the message must have a clear focus. Cant play mas and fraid powder.
Olabisi Kuboni he sounded petty!
MATT needs to understand that Policing is a tough game you cannot play fish and fowl. I dare one journalist to be a Police Officer for one month, not as an observer but as a uniformed patrolman. The badge and uniform will not shield you from disrespect rather it will act as a magnet for persons who hated what you now represent. Lets be real where is the intimidation just tell me MATT.
So MATT reaffirms it’s irrelevance by maintaining a tit for tat based on nothing…smh
MATT needs to up thier game the language in the first release does not correlate with this realease.