Antigua & Barbuda In February 2002, Julius Gittens, Barbadian host of "The Big Issues," a popular news review program broadcast on Sundays by Observer Radio, was ordered to leave the country immediately by the chief immigration officer after a dispute over his status. Labor Commissioner Austin Josiah said Gittens had not applied for a work permit, which he denied, producing evidence he had paid for the permit with a check for $EC3,000 (about $1,140) and the check had been cashed. Opposition Leader Baldwin Spencer said he was "ashamed as an Antiguan at the outrageous behavior of the government to stifle freedom of the press in the country." Senator Colin Derrick called the action "an outrageous abuse of state power in circumstances devoid of common sense and goodwill to all of our Caribbean brothers and sisters." In another incident involving Observer Radio, Winston Derrick, host of the "Voice of the People," went home to find three police vehicles parked outside, and police showed him a warrant saying they were authorized to search for "certain telecommunications equipment." The warrant gave no specifics.. Speaking to the Daily Observer later that evening, Derrick said, "Antigua has reached a stage of anarchy when the police can come into a private home . . . and have property confiscated. The government is trying to regulate telecommunications in this country through the Police Force." Barbados No complaints impacting press freedom have been reported. Guyana Two privately-owned newspapers, the Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News, and several private television stations operate freely and without censorship or interference. The government maintains a radio monopoly. However, new broadcasting legislation has been promised and a government spokesman said in January 2002 that private radio licenses would then be issued. Grenada The government has made no further moves in connection with a proposed Code of Practice. The Media Workers Association, having decided to introduce its own, has done preliminary work on it and plans to circulate it to non-governmental organizations for perusal and then to have an open forum with the public. This is expected by the end of this quarter or early in the next. Meanwhile, the prime minister's office has been taking an interest in the progress being made. Criminal libel suits and civil suits were brought against two media persons. The criminal suit against the editor of Grenada Today newspaper, George Worme, for accusing the prime minister of bribing people to vote for him in elections was decided by a High Court judge in his favor on the ground that it constituted freedom of expression as provided for in the country's Constitution. The ruling was appealed and the Appeal Court overturned the earlier decision. Worme's lawyers are understood to be planning to appeal further to the Privy Council in London, the British Commonwealth's final court of appeal. The civil suit against him for the same offense was decided in favor of the prime minister in August last year, but damages have yet to be assessed. A criminal libel charge against radio journalist Stanley Charles involved an allegation he made in a live telephone call to a radio commentator conducting a program during time purchased from the Grenada Broadcasting Network (40% owned by the government). The allegation was that the ruling party had put out a contract to kill former Government Minister Raphael Fletcher, who had just resigned from the government. It is not clear where the lawsuit currently stands, but a court ruled in March in a parallel civil suit brought by the entire cabinet. Damages of the equivalent about $76,000 were awarded but there was no stipulation on how much Charles, the commentator, Eddie Frederick, and the radio station will each have to pay. Charles did surrender himself to the police initially but he fled the island soon thereafter and has not returned. Trinidad & Tobago The prime minister and his political colleagues have continued their verbal attacks on the media, but without any direct threat of action. He continued to accuse sections of the media, particularly the privately-owned Caribbean Communications Network Limited, of trying to bring down his government and of collusion with the opposition. Jamaica The Gleaner Company Limited appealed to the Jamaica Appeal Court the two major libel awards handed down against the company in 1995 and 1996, of the equivalent of about $650,000 and $2.3 million, respectively. On July 31, 2000, the court ordered the $2.3 million award reduced to $750,000, but the company has appealed this new judgment to the Privy Council in London. The $650,000 judgment has been sent back for trial to the Supreme Court in Jamaica. The government is drafting an Access to Information Act and has passed new provisions for the monitoring and elimination of corruption in the performance of public duties, the Anti-Corruption Bill. The media had strongly opposed a section of the bill that would make it an offense punishable with stiff fines to publish or use information contained in "any declaration, letter or other document" when it is known or ought to be known that it comes from a member of the Corruption Prevention Commission. In response to the media's objections, the bill was amended and the law was passed without the offending section. A specially empanelled Parliamentary Commission is currently hearing submissions from the public on the Access to Information Bill. The Media Association of Jamaica, representing owners, and the Press Association of Jamaica , representing journalists, have both made submissions to this Commission.