Antigua Deports 2 CARICOM Journalists – “Expulsion Is Political”

Two Online Sources So Far…

Caribbean journalists deported from Antigua

Two Caribbean journalists have been deported from Antigua and Barbuda prompting condemnation from the Association of Caribbean Media (ACM) workers and other national media organizations.

Veteran journalist and former editor-in-chief of the Antigua Sun, Vernon Khelawan of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) was deported on Tuesday and Dominican Lennox Linton of Observer Radio in Antigua, was sent back to his homeland yesterday.

The ACM in a statement yesterday condemned the expulsions stating that it provided evidence that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda was not committed to honour its obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and was prepared to take action in contravention of the rights of journalists to practise their profession.

… read the rest at Stabroek News (link here)

T&T national among 2 ordered out of Antigua …’Expulsion political’

Two Caribbean journalists, one a national of Trinidad and Tobago, the other a Dominican, have been deported from Antigua and Barbuda.

Vernon Khelawan, a Trinidadian who served as Editor-in-Chief and General Manager at Sun Publications in Antigua from 1998 to earlier this year, told the Express he entered Antigua at 9.05 on Tuesday morning.

“I was landed and legally entered into the country. I asked for three days, they gave me the three days and I proceeded to go about my business,” he said.

At 10.40, he was accosted by immigration officers in a parking lot and told to accompany them to the airport.

There, a senior immigration official accused him of working in Antigua.

Khelawan said while he was waiting in immigration, the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office “appeared” briefly.

“I imagine his mission was to ensure that I was there and report back,” Khelawan said.

… read the rest at the Trinidad & Tobago Express (link here)

Our Take: More Of The Same

Many Caribbean governments carry a veneer of civilized behaviour and adherence to democratic principles but quickly show near-despotic roots when the media actually does its job. Witness our own situation in Barbados. As a reminder, here are a few pointer stories…

Arson, Burglary, Bedroom Spying – Three Separate Incidents Make A Bad Day For Fired Barbados Journalist Who Is Critical Of Government

Barbados Tourism Minister Storms Off Radio Show – Audio Now Available!

Barbados Strongman Owen Arthur Holds Media In Firm Control

Barbados Advocate: “Barbados situation is nowhere near as dire as what is happening in Zimbabwe”

Barbados Government Blog Publishes Threats Against Journalist David Ellis – “We must guard our nation against such reckless use and abuse of press power.”

Nation News Robert Best – Barbados Reporters Know About Corruption But Are Not Free To Investigate And Report It

Attention Barbados Offshore Investors and Transparency International – Corruption Stories Being Hidden By Barbados Media & Government

Barbados Minister Of Tourism Dictates To Cowardly StarCom Network – “Adrian Loveridge Not Allowed On Brass Tacks Radio Show Panel”

Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Says Internet Blogs “Marginalize…Parliament” – Calls For Regulation of Blogs, Call-In Shows On Radio, Television

Cowardly Barbados Advocate Newspaper Caved To Screaming Government Minister


Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Politics & Corruption

10 responses to “Antigua Deports 2 CARICOM Journalists – “Expulsion Is Political”

  1. Avoid Antigua.

    Antigua is a shiRt-hole
    Always was.
    Always will be…a can of worms.

  2. Najo

    This is just another part of the dis-unity that is associated with this thing called CSME, all it is doing is bringing war into our backyard.

  3. Anonymous

    I was under the impression that under CSME rules Journalist no longer require work permits and further that they have freedom of movement. Seems that freedom of movement even if it is possible does not mean freedom of speech. Journalist are under threat everywhere

  4. Anonymous

    Talking about CSME, I was in Antigua about a year ago and heard an Antigua during a public session on the same CSME describe Barbados in the most derogative terms. Among other things she described Barbados as an over populated……….

  5. PiedPiper

    Barbados, for so long, has tried to sell itself above the likes of the disent and unrest of other Caribbean nations such as Jamaica and Haiti. It is all an illusion under the guise of former British civility and for many years now the populace of Barbados and the rest of the world has bought it. Owing and his ilk are no different from the Birds of Antigua, they have just managed for longer to make it appear that democracy is their true goal. In reality, it is all about the money……and I don’t mean the money that goes into the pockets of the average hard working Bajan who will struggle from day to day to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. It is all about those fat cat piggies who don’t give a rat’s ass about their constituents (those that put them into power in the first place, in case anyone has lost that connection) , it’s all about securing and lining their own pockets for when the day comes that they are no longer in power.
    If Barbados truly wants to think of itself as a “first world” nation within the global community, it needs to examine more closely the backgrounds of those they put in elected positions. The rest of the civilized world makes it’s politicians reveal what their business affiliations are prior to being allowed to run for office and makes them turn those business interests over to a “neutral” third party if elected.
    I am very disturbed by Thompson’s seeming lack of response to all the recent exposures and events in Barbados and have serious doubts about his ability to make real change in a country that so badly needs it.

  6. BK

    I agree with what has been said. The action of Antigua is atypical of what is wrong with CARICOM, CCJ, CSME , LIAT and all the other similar Caribbean government sponsored entities.

    BTW congrats BFP I heard Dr. DonMarshall “bigging-up” BFP on Tell IT call in programme this evening.

  7. jodiperry

    Avoid antigua – well thought out and presented argument . i wonder where are you from?

    Anonymous – antigua has not yet passed legislation to facilitate the movement of skilled workers so journalists are obliged under law to obtain a work permit. I do know for a fact that Khelawan was workin illegally in Anu for over a I used to work with him. He is not being entirely forthcoming with the Trini media on his situation. He had been a previous order to refuse his entry into the country which had been overlooked by the officer at the airport.
    The case of Linton however may be political since he had leave to remain in anu until august and he has kids in school. However if ure gonna cry ‘freedom of speech’ you should bear in mind that this right is guaranteed by the same law which governs an individual’s right to remain in a foreign country. What the antigua govt. is saying is yes we will defend your right to freedom of speech (in your native country) while we uphold our laws and ensure that they are applied in ours.

  8. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados, Antigua: CARICOM Journalists Deported

  9. Wishing in Vain

    Ok these folks got deported what are we doing about the ones we have at Paradise are they about to be deported as well??
    One clown is saying the are legal the other clown is saying no work permits have been issued which one is the true story??
    As they both cannot be right !! Rev are you lying again???
    Pemberton are you lying???
    Whatever the position we the citizens need to know and sooner rather than later!!!
    This looks like a lot of clowns in action here do we know where the circus is and when is it opening ???

  10. No-name

    Bush Administration Attacks “Shield” For Bloggers
    The Bush administration blasted a congressional proposal that would shield a broad swath of news gatherers, including some bloggers, from revealing their confidential sources. A U.S. Department of Justice official told Congress that the latest draft of the Free Flow of Information Act would pose a grave threat to national security and federal criminal investigations by protecting far too large a segment of the population.

    2007.06.15 in E-Activism | Permalink | TrackBack (0)