Attempted Libel Chill – Barbados Free Press Will Not Be Intimidated

UPDATED: September 22, 2010

In view of the recent statements against blogging and social media by Police Commissioner Dottin and Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, Barbados Free Press again reminds folks that we will be here for the Bajan people, we will not be intimidated – and if anyone disagrees with anything we say, they are welcome to publish their reply to our audience.

“We don’t own BFP – we just take care of it for Barbados.”

Original article first published July 20, 2006…

The Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, is calling for regulation of internet blogs and call-in shows. (Previous BFP article here)

In our opinion, the Deputy PM’s comments are directed squarely at Barbados Free Press as the major Barbados political blog – and at the popular call-in radio show Down To Brass Tacks.

As reported in The Nation News, Miss Mottley used the “L” word – libel – when speaking on the subject of blogs and call-in shows at the opening of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference being held at the Hilton this week.

Now we see that the General Secretary of the Deputy PM’s political party has again mentioned the “L” word while commenting on the Barbados Free Press…

“I am a firm believer in Free Speech. I however believe that this speech however critical should not be defamatory or libelous in any way. In any case there are already laws for that. How applicable they are on the internet I do not know.”

…Dr. William Duguid, Member of Parliament and General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party – commenting on the Barbados Free Press article “Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament…”

Libel Chill

With regard to the libel and slander laws, we consulted with an attorney before we formed BFP and were told that we have nothing to fear if we only tell the truth and that is what we do. He also told us about “libel chill” which is where people who don’t like what we say make threats to sue BFP only for the purpose of making us afraid to publish. Right then we made up our minds that no threat will deter us from publishing the truth.

If the government, opposition party, or anyone thinks they have been libeled we want to hear from them and we will publish, in its entirety, everything they want to say and let our readers judge whether we told the truth.

Anyone who wants to can send us something to publish. If it is topical and interesting we will publish it. We know the difference between letters or emails that are signed and contain the person’s address and those that are anonymous and will treat them accordingly. We reserve the right to edit where space limitations or context requires but we promise that a writer’s full message will reach our readers.

Whistle Blowers Are Heros To Us

Sometimes people send us information or photos and, for reasons of fear, libel chill, or otherwise do not want to identify themselves. We encourage that. Barbados needs some whistle blowers and people who leak the truth because too much is being hidden that we Barbadians need to know. We promise we will never reveal the identity of these brave people. To us they are heroes.

We were happy to see that the government of Barbados hurried to pass a law in parliament regulating the internet. We were happy to see it. We were disappointed though, that it did not go all the way and pass Whistle Blower Laws, that protect caring Barbadians who know something is wrong but are intimidated into keeping quiet.

Disagree With A BFP Article About You? Say So!

You have seen it… Time after time, we have made statements about the present government, published photos, our observations and what we think.

To date there has not been one time where we have received notice that subjects of our articles consider them to be either slanderous or libelous. We leave it for the readers to figure out what that means, however we think it means we are hitting the mark and finding things out that would otherwise be hidden from Barbadians.

Do you see the government disagreeing with us about our stand on the country’s neglect of the environment? Do you see the government disagreeing with us on the lack of transparency and accountability for elected officials? No, definitely not, because it is all true.

We will continue to publish the Barbados Free Press until we no longer need to. Should “they” shut down our internet supplier, we have backup servers ready to go in three countries and will be back online within a day. (and THAT would make a great piece for the New York Times or on the BBC… “Barbados Government Shuts Down Citizen Website”)

In the past it was said that “freedom of the press only belongs to those who own one.”

Welcome to the new century – where ordinary people can now own a press on the internet.

We can think of no more healthy development for democracy and for Barbados.

Cheers!

Marcus, Robert, Shona, Clive, Auntie Moses and the rest of the BFP family.

Related Stories

Barbados Free Press – Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament”…

Barbados Labour Party Blog – Deputy PM Has Her Say

The Nation News – Regulate Call-in Shows, Says Mottley

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “Attempted Libel Chill – Barbados Free Press Will Not Be Intimidated

  1. Pingback: Barbados Free Press » Blog Archive » Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament” - Calls For Regulation of Blogs, Call-In Shows On Radio, Television

  2. Pingback: Blogworld » Blog Archive » Stuff from around the region

  3. Dear Sir,

    I read in Sunday’s newspaper about the kindly Option to repay QEH ‘salary’
    reading in absolute amazement.

    Here we have a criminal who engaged in deliberate fraud, over a span of four years,
    cashing or banking each pay-cheque he received, for over forty months,
    and yet this criminal is being allowed the “kinder,gentler” option of repaying QEH.

    I must ask, Sir, if there is a Justice System in Barbados!
    I must ask just how big a big-shot this criminal is,
    that the Attorney-General and Director of Public Prosecutions saw fit to allow a repayment scheme, rather than to prosecute.

    Presumably the repayment option will be a dollar down and a dollar a week.
    No wonder QEH has problems! – I remain astounded.

  4. You guys need to know that it is NOT EASY finding a ‘SUBMISSIONS’ locality..for this website

    You need a plainly obvious submissions link,
    somewhere up front, right at the top of your webpage/s!

    Please provide an obvious, in yo’ face, Submissions link.

    Thank you.

  5. ross

    wikipedia, what are you talking about?

  6. JUPITER

    Cat Eyes and Velzo what’s up? Haven’t been hearing from you lately,hope you haven.t been silenced?

    BFP,where’s the article that was to come re your secret meeting with that mystery person?
    Also BFP,could you give us some coverage on the Guyanese – bajan voting connection ,the true picture with the illegal immegrants and whose behind the whole thing?

    Come on BFP give us some serious stuff to sink or teeth into or then just give something light so the we can have a good laugh over a glass of mauby.

  7. honeybee

    JUPITER you sure have missed a lot.

  8. BFP

    Hi Jupiter

    You missed the $1000 prize offer that resulted from the meeting.

    Check out Hot Issues.

    Marcus

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  10. JUPITER

    Thanks BFP.I did read that article,however I thought that meeting was meant to expose more wrong-doing among government ministers and their friends and that would have been exposed in an article.

    Keep us posted you are all we’ve got now.The so-called ‘responsible’ media are too much in the government pocket and/or scared about their radio licenses so they also engage in self-censorship.See how they print all these blp propoganda under the guise of ‘letters to the editor’.and allow them free rein on the radio call-in programme.

    Anyhow,hopefully all this will come to an end soon and I wait to see how the media will deal with that then.

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  12. mac

    When the Elites challenge you, you know you have them scared. Truth will out & what’s done in darkness will see the light.

    To all on BFP & others such sites, keep up the good work. If the gov won’t introduce transparency & accountability, then the people will have it any way.

    Look at California where such things exist & yet massive fraud has just been busted. When none of the transparency & accountability exists here, the elites think they are given a blank cheque to do what they like, as been proved over & over again. Both the BLP & DLP are guilty of the same crimes, hence no transparency laws despite much talk.

    keep up the good work on & all.

  13. what will they think of next

    I prefer BFP anyday over the old,part of the problem media in Barbados. I hope darwin soon steps down, he is nothing but an idiot.