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Sep 7, 2017

Organizations roundly condemn police for Amaya assault

Condemnation of Wednesday’s events has come in fast and furious from several organizations. We lead with the statement issued this evening by KREM Radio in support of assaulted journalist Marisol Amaya, which it calls “totally unwarranted and indicative of the violence experienced by women on a daily basis inBelize.”  General Manager Michael Hyde says that it was an assault against the independent media, against women in particular and against the freedom enjoyed by journalist to freely move around and cover any newsworthy item inBelize.  The statement notes that Amaya has retained Audrey Matura as attorney and made a formal complaint against police, and also sought medical attention for her injuries and trauma. The United Women’s Group of the People’s United Party has also issued a statement in support of Amaya, citing President Tanya Santos and Senator Valerie Woods condemning her mistreatment and the poor handling of the press at Tower Hill in general. In response to the UWG’s call, the Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow issued a statement reiterating her support for a free press and stating, “Miss Amaya is a woman, mother, sister, a daughter and a journalist. I join the wider society in condemning the assault made upon her person by police officers. This reduces the image of our country and contravenes all efforts being made by many agencies to end violence against our women.” Finally, the Belize Progressive Party demands an apology and accountability for those responsible for the assault and the government to cease all assaults and intimidation of the press and its opponents immediately, and calls for the government to see a new mandate from the people to avoid further tyranny.

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