PAJ, MAJ condemn attack on journalists

THE Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has condemned the attack of a cameraman and newspaper reporter in Homestead, Spanish Town, St Catherine, on Tuesday.

"The photojournalist and reporter told us that while on assignment at the Homestead Primary School, covering a sick-out by staff members, they were filming a scene by the school gate when the photojournalist was attacked by a man from the community who punched him.

"The photojournalist also pointed out that the man grabbed his camera, ripped the microphone cable, and attempted to damage the camera. He also tried to seize the mobile phone of a newspaper reporter. We were informed that the police visited the scene and took statements," said the PAJ.

It added: "The Press Association of Jamaica condemns unequivocally this reprehensible act and display of thuggery towards our workers. The Press Association also wishes to remind the public that journalists must be free to conduct their duties without any form of threat or hinderance and is calling on the police to ensure a thorough investigation is done and appropriate penalties are applied to the attacker."

At the same time, the Media Association Jamaica (MAJ) said it was alarmed at reports of journalists being attacked at a school in Homestead.

"Any attack on journalists constitutes an attack on press freedom and must be strongly denounced in a society which expects unfettered access to information regarding events or activities of public interest.

"Journalists work on behalf of the people and must be protected in carrying out their duties. It is the association's hope that this event is thoroughly investigated by the authorities and the perpetrators of the attack brought to justice," said the MAJ.

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