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PNP says Holness threatening free speech

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People’s National Party (PNP) is this afternoon accusing the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) of censoring free speech and tampering with the social media sites of individuals.

The party expressed “grave concern” explaining that it has noted that content on several social media accounts have been removed at the request of the OPM and in instances, the pages of the individuals have been completely shut down by the supporting networks.

According to the PNP, the removal of the social media accounts comes on the heels of the OPM accusing the owners of copyright infringements relating to a public town hall meeting involving Prime Minister Andrew Holness, where it has been alleged that the footage from the town hall was “spliced”.

The claim relates to a video exchange, made in the public space, about an issue of public interest, but which was considered unflattering to the prime minister in the manner he responded to the questions from the attendee, the PNP said.

“The controversial content, targeted by the OPM, is the video of the recent town hall, which shows PM Holness appearing to be visibly angry and in the opinion of many persons, verbally abusive to a young man who asked about the National Identification Registration System (NIDS) Bill and suggested that it be placed before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament.”

The PNP said further that accusations from the OPM that the video was “spliced” are disingenuous as the apparently angry tone and disrespectful words of the prime minister were not edited and cannot be misunderstood.

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