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Dec 14, 2010

Belizeans for Justice tells Gov’t to lift ban on free media

Ever since the government suspended “normal relations” with Channel Five, numerous organizations have been quick to strengthen its bond with this independent station. They have generally expressed concern about the Cabinet decision to punish this media house for expressing views that the government would rather remain hidden.  The Caribbean Broadcasting on Monday said the unilateral withdrawal will only serve to unbalance the media landscape, by the Government denying itself the opportunity to have its positions represented to the people of Belize through this important media house. This afternoon, well known NGO, Belizeans For Justice took time out to show solidarity for Channel Five which has often aired the concerns of its members.

Yolanda Schakron, Member, Belizeans For Justice

yolanda schakron

“Belizeans For Justice today is issuing a press release because we feel that the suspension of relationships with Channel Five by the government is totally unacceptable. In a democratic system, we need the media. Freedom of speech is very, very important. We believe that there are other media houses that are out there breaking a lot of the rules that should be adhered to. So we believe that it should be equal down the line. We have worked closely with Channel Five. Our association is about freedom and justice for all Belizeans and the media serves as an outlet for us to get our stories out there. We believe that when a government is starting to interfere with media houses, I believe that that is something that every Belizean should be very concerned about and we should not let this be forgotten or lie low about it. We see that right now Channel Five can’t interview government employees and that is wrong because they have a right to speak out too. To me it’s like they are saying look, if you go against what I believe ina, you will get fired. And that is a form of victimization, I believe. I believe it is a form of instilling fear in a society and we dah wah free society.  We dah wah democratic nation.”

joan sutherland

Joan Sutherland, Member, Belizeans For Justice

“I supported my organization Belizeans for Justice one hundred percent. For me Channel Five was my voice when I got all my threats. Channel Five was the one that I can say spoke for me because all my threats have stopped and I hope it will continue being my voice.”

Oscar Rosado, Member, Belizeans For Justice

oscar rosado

“We are about Justice on a whole and Channel Five allowed most of our members when we have looked for Channel Five to express our freedom of speech. Never have they asked us what political party we support. Everything I think Channel Five has invested in our community, educating our people, doing programs for our people and nothing political.  I think today we should be congratulating and handing over a prize over to Channel Five for what they have done for the Belizean public. And the injustice that is being done, we condemn it here as Belizeans for Justice today. So Channel Five, keep on the good work and we’ll be behind you one hundred percent, the Belizean People.”

Also joining in the rejection of the ban, Glenn Tillett a veteran journalist of four decades, also sent a release, saying “it can serve no good in any way when the institution of government, administered by those who have sworn a sacred duty to serve all equitably without fear or favor so blatantly admit to policies of discrimination, victimization and division.” Tillett also called on the Prime Minister to rescind or retract the policy and that the Belize Broadcasting Authority should stop abdicating its duty as the agency with the constitutional duty for the regulation of the broadcasting industry.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “Belizeans for Justice tells Gov’t to lift ban on free media”

  1. rootsman says:

    Maybe you guys should just organize a protest and get some t-shirts printed for the occasion. This is a real big concern and should be looked at and act upon as such and not let it just pass on and forgotten about, it is a shame that the other media houses have not come out against this but then I believe that if they are truly being supported by GOB that would be the reason why they are so quiet.

  2. Common Sense says:

    It is a good thing, increases your independence, fly free to now continue digging deeper into issues that other, chained, media houses are unwilling to touch.

    Keep us informed, please, we will support.

  3. Earl Grey says:

    AND…………WHERE IS THE B.P.A…..THE BELIZE PRESS ASSOCIATION????????????

    …………………aren’t they STANDING TOGETHER?????????????

  4. SayItAintSoJoe says:

    People lets get over it. Barrow and his government don’t want to talk to channel 5 how is that an attack on free media. I still watch channel 5 at night and I am still ale to listen and watch the news as channel 5 like to read it so where is the lack of freedom of press? Istill get to see my channel 5 on t.v. Correct me if I am wrong. May be my t.v. does not show the same channel 5 as the rest of Belize.

  5. el alcalde says:

    Well.. I thought we were Belize…our jewel!
    Seems we are Castro & Chaves!!! I mean Cuba & Venezuela.

  6. vigilante justice 316 says:

    @sayitainsojoe…a monkey on your back today can turn into a gorrilla tomorrow if you ignore it. The people can’t get a full scope of what is going on if the news personel can’t get statements from government officals on the things the concern citizens such as myself. Silence does not bring about change, rather it feeds corruption when people are too afraid to speak up and speak out.

    If your a talkative man/woman, sound the trumphets! If your a man of few words; carry a big stick! These are the people who make a difference in our society and I’m proud of those who stand up for our freedoms.

  7. CHICAGORILLA says:

    This present government is a basketcase and its leader, Prime Minister Dean Borrow is the king of all jack @ss. Us Belizeans know what to do come election time…Keep on keeping on Channel 5. The majority of your viewers support what you guys and gals are doing. Keep it coming. I’m loving it!

  8. John says:

    The government percieves Channel 5 as an enemy. They either have forgotten or do not know the Arab parable about enemies: It is better to have your enemy inside the tent p****** out than too have your enemy outside the tent p****** in.

    With Channel 5 inside the tent, there is the ability to influence reports. As is, Government has no influence with Channel 5.

    JWF

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