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Guyana16 July 2008

Leading TV journalist banned from president’s office

Reporters Without Borders condemns the government’s discriminatory decision on 13 July to declare TV reporter and producer Gordon Moseley persona non grata in the office of the president, and supports the efforts of the Guyana Press Association (GPA) to resolve the conflict as soon as possible. Moseley works for Capitol News, a privately-owned TV station based in Georgetown.

“Barring a journalist because a report displeased the president is an attack on pluralism and the press’s critical role,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The government already resorted to such methods when it banned the Stabroek News daily from receiving state advertising from November 2006 to April 2008. The punishment imposed on Moseley directly affects his ability to work and we therefore call for it to be lifted.”

Moseley found himself denied access to the office of the president on 13 July after covering a diploma award ceremony. The security services told him that the Government Information Agency (GINA) had withdrawn his accreditation for the president’s office and official residence.

The GINA accused Moseley of making “disparaging and disrespectful remarks” about the government in a letter to the Stabroek News on 8 July and asked him to apologise. In the letter, Moseley had responded to President Bharrat Jagdeo’s criticism of his coverage of a recent visit by the president to the nearby Caribbean island of Antigua.

In a subsequent letter to the GPA, Moseley refused to apologise and said he was fed up with the constant attacks by the president and government on the privately-owned media, especially Capitol News. He explained that President Jagdeo had been especially irritated by his coverage of questions about the sensitive issue of crime in Guyana that were put to the president during a meeting with Guyanese residents in Antigua.

The GPA has condemned the ban on Moseley and proposed mediation between him and the government.

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