JAM | May 10, 2023

Information Minister disturbed by attack on journalist at PNP headquarters

/ Our Today

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Robert Nesta Morgan, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with responsibility for information. (Photo: JIS)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Information Minister, Robert Morgan has condemned the attack on a group of journalists at the headquarters of the Opposition’s People’s National Party (PNP) Old Hope Road headquarters on Monday (May 8).

In a statement to parliament, Morgan made specific reference to the threat of rape to a female journalist from Television Jamaica by a supporter of the party.

“We are deeply disturbed by the trauma that this incident has undoubtedly caused for the female journalists who was present, and I want to make it clear that sexual violence has no place in Jamaican society, and certainly not as a tool of intimidation against journalists,” Morgan told the parliament.

Minister Morgan added that in addition to that incident, a Television Jamaica crew was also threatened by a PNP supporter at the party headquarters, where the supporter reportedly picked up a stone and began approaching and threatening the reporter before eventually throwing away the stone. He charged that “these actions are completely unacceptable and a violation of the fundamental human rights of the journalists.”

PNP Deputy General Secretary criticised

The Information Minister was critical of PNP Deputy General Secretary, Dexroy Martin, who sought to prevent a journalist from interviewing persons and also chastised media workers for the colour clothing they were wearing.  

Logo of the 83-year-old People’s National Party (PNP). (Photo:

According to Morgan, “it is the responsibility of the PNP to ensure that their supporters do not engage in such behavior in the future. As a government, we are committed to upholding the principles of press freedom and freedom of speech, which are cornerstones of our democracy. Journalists play a critical role in providing information to the public, and they must be able to do so without fear of violence or intimidation. The actions of these individuals are a direct threat to our democracy and cannot be tolerated.”

Morgan argued that these recent incidents are particularly troubling given that they occurred just one week after World Press Freedom Day, on which Jamaica plunged on the global Press Freedom Index, moving from 12th to 32nd.

The Information Minister joined the call by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) for a thorough investigation into the incidents whilst supporting its call for justice to be served. He called on the PNP to identify and report to the police their supporter who made the rape threat against the journalist.

Martin issues apology

Both the PNP and Martin have since apologized for the disgraceful incidents at its headquarters, reiterating that this is a departure from the party’s observance of press freedom.

PNP Deputy General Secretary, Dexroy Martin.

“I wish to express my deepest apologies for my comments to a media personnel last evening on her visit to the Headquarters of the PNP. I understand that my comments with respect to the colour of her clothing were completely unacceptable and disrespectful, and I am deeply sorry for any offence that I have caused,” said Martin.

He added: “I want to make it clear that I understand that my comments did not reflect the position of the
PNP, and I take full responsibility for my behaviour. I also apologise to the Leader of the PNP,
Comrade Golding and other members of the Party for any negative attention or distraction that
my actions have caused.”

The PNP Deputy General Secretary, also noted that he has taken steps to meet with the offended party and wish to assure her of my unreserved apologies.


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