Association of Caribbean Media Workers condemns planned “press censorship” law

Press Release: The Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) is concerned about a recent statement by Saint Lucia’s Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee on plans by his administration to impose additional regulations on the country’s private media.

The minister’s comments were made in parliament on March 21 where he described the current media landscape as being “in a state of chaos” and requiring “additional legislation.”

Minister Fedee’s specific concerns appeared to emerge from the actions of broadcasters whom he accused of producing misleading, “indecent” and “profane” content. Such a situation, he proposed, required “a set of rules that the media would be governed by.”

We wish to inform the minister that most of his concerns are already addressed under both civil and criminal law in his country and that to impose an additional tier of criminal liability targeting the media sector would constitute a grave violation of accepted standards to protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press. He is reminded that such a provision is an entrenched feature of the Constitution of Saint Lucia.

An ACM delegation had discussed the matter of media self-regulation with the minister on January 26, 2017 – an approach to perceived media malpractice we believed enjoyed his support at that time. His comments in parliament in fact belie sentiments expressed by him during those discussions.

We have advised our national affiliate – the Media Association of Saint Lucia – to monitor this situation closely. Assistance with analysing proposed broadcasting legislation will also be forthcoming from the ACM, with assistance from specialist international agencies concerned with the free expression compliance of media laws.

5 Comments

  1. puppy
    March 30, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    fedee and his short self he think he tall

    1. Acting inside
      April 1, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      AND WHERE IS RICK WAYNE CARASCO? Guess he no longer interested in freedom of the press. Oh Rick Oh Rich. SMH

  2. Peter Lansiquot
    March 30, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I don’t know what it is with SHORT PEOPLE and their “Napoleon Syndrome”. The great Guyanese hero, Cuffy, a very short man, would be ashamed of such thinking by a fellow Guyanese compatriot in the 21st century. Toof man!

  3. Ras Biko
    March 30, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Those who give up their liberty for security will eventually lose both. A people of sheep begets a government of wolves. We the people must demand absolute freedom of the press irrespective of who is in power. To allow any erosion of press freedom is the beginning of dictatorship. Let us remember that the first move of a dictator is to muzzled the press.

  4. Vibz
    March 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    There are laws concerning libel already on the books. There is no need for any additional legislation. Any new laws that tighten the screws against Freedom of Speech are meant to intimidate. Any infringement of the libel laws, legal action can be taken against the offender. These new laws that the government wants to enact against free speech should be of monumental concern to all citizens and residents. Is St. Lucia slowly becoming the next North Korea?

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