THE Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) has criticised the police over their visit to the offices of Radio and Television Jaagriti for evidence of controversial remarks made by Maha Sabha head Sat Maharaj about Tobagonians.
While Maharaj’s remarks had provoked a public outcry, MATT, on Thursday, questioned the police action.
In a statement, MATT said it noted reports of "heavy-handed and unprofessional conduct" by the police.
The reports, including accounts by MATT officials Vishala Ganesh (secretary) and Vindhar Suraj (treasurer), were that the police entered the premises at noon to retrieve copies of a programme aired on April 16.
“Upon arrival, no warrant was produced. These actions break all established protocols for the acquisition of such footage.”
MATT said these actions ironically came on the day Reporters without Borders, in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index, said "the authorities and public servants in TT do not respect the rights of journalists."
Saying they had twice before met Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to discuss media freedom, MATT said, “We condemn any form of intimidation against media workers and again remind the TT Police Service that freedom of the press is a constitutionally enshrined right in TT.”