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Grenada Government denies involvement in dismissal of newspaper editor

Prime Minister Tillman Thomas 

The Grenada government Tuesday denied any involvement in the dismissal of a journalist after a newspaper carried an article about infighting within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In a two-page statement, the Tillman Thomas administration said while it had pointed to what it termed “inaccuracies” in a report carried by the Grenada Advocate newspaper in its March 9thedition, “there was no demand for an apology” nor that it had “anything to do with the reported termination” the paper’s editor, Rawle Titus.

“The Grenada government has never, over the past three years, attempted to pressure or intimidate any business or media house to “tow the government’s line” or to influence the dismissal of any journalist, as previous administrations have done.”

Earlier, the Paris-based media watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had called on Prime Minister Thomas to distance his administration from reports that it played a role in the dismissal of the journalist.

RSF said it also wanted the Grenada government to “provide a frank explanation of a matter liable to endanger media independence”.

It said that there “are strong grounds for suspecting”  that the decision of the privately-owned Grenada Advocate newspaper to dismiss Titus was the result of direct political pressure by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and his press secretary”.

On Monday, the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) said it would suspend its participation in a government-supported committee formulating a national media policy after it accused the government of giving lip service to freedom of the press.

In a statement issued here, MWAG said that it is concerned about “increasing incidents” that suggest guarantees of a free press were coming under attack.

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