The Press Association of Jamaica, PAJ, is calling on PNP President, Portia Simpson Miller, to make a personal appeal to PNP supporters, to allow journalists to work in peace without fear of intimidation and physical assault.
The call was made today in an open letter to Mrs. Simpson Miller from PAJ President, Dionne Jackson-Miller.
Mrs. Jackson Miller framed her appeal against the background of an incident involving Nationwide’s Senior Reporter, Abka Fitz-Henley and PNP supporters at last week’s swearing in of the new Parliament.
She condemned the abusive language aimed by the comrades at Mr. Fitz-Henley and decried attempts to cause him physical harm.
Mrs. Jackson Miller says she’s not suggesting that the leadership of the PNP has condoned any of those acts, nor is she attempting to deprive persons of the freedom to criticize media houses, news reports or even journalists.
But the PAJ President says a simple statement from the PNP condemning and distancing themselves from the behavior is simply not enough.
She believes that a personal appeal from Mrs. Simpson Miller, speaking with the full authority of her office is needed.
The PAJ President wants Mrs. Simpson Miller to make it abundantly clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Mrs., Jackson Miller says she’s convinced that a personal appeal from the Opposition Leader would help calm simmering tensions and stamp out undesirable behaviour.
Last week, Nationwide’s CEO, Cliff Hughes, also wrote the PNP President urging her to reign in those PNP supporters who’ve been hostile to Mr. Fitz-Henley.
Nationwide has not had a response yet from the PNP President. Police Commissioner. Carl Williams, was copied on the letter to the PNP President.
The Kingston Central have since interviewed Mr. Fitz-Henley about the incident outside Gordon House last week.