57th General Assembly Washington, DC October 12 – 16, 2001 CARIBBEAN Antigua & Barbuda On Easter weekend 2001, Observer Radio finally began broadcasting to the nation of Antigua & Barbuda after a five-year struggle to hit the airwaves. In November 2000, the Law Lords of the Privy Council (United Kingdom Supreme Court) ruled in favor of the radio and against the government of Antigua & Barbuda, which had seized the station’s equipment in a September 1996 police raid. Since Observer Radio began broadcasting, there have been several threats made against it and the Daily Observer newspaper, both of which are owned and operated by the Observer Group of Companies. In an open letter to Police Commissioner Truheart Smith, Opposition Leader Baldwin Spencer outlined his concern for the safety of Observer Radio and since the publication of the letter the threats have subsided. Barbados No complaints impacting press freedom in Barbados have been reported. The exercise of all rights remained evident in all aspects of the profession. Grenada The Prime Minister threatened to introduce a Code of Practice as to how journalists should write, photograph and behave. He later agreed to back off from such legislation. Trinidad & Tobago The Prime Minister and his colleagues have ceased their verbal attacks on the media, at least for the time being. Jamaica The Gleaner Company Limited appealed to the Appeal Court the two major libel awards handed down against the company in 1995 and 1996, of approximately $650,000 and $2.3 million, respectively. On July 31, 2000 the Court ordered the $2.3 million award to be reduced to approximately $1 million, but the company said it planned to appeal this new judgment to the Privy Council in London (the British equivalent of Supreme Court and the last court of appeal in Commonwealth countries). The government is drafting two bills, one on the Freedom of Information Act and the other containing new provisions for the monitoring and elimination of corruption in the performance of public duties, known as the Corruption (Prevention) Act. The media have strongly opposed a section of the anti-corruption bill which 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 and there is no reasonable ground to believe that the information relates to an act of corruption or any investigation into corruption. Although The Corruption (Prevention) Act is not yet finalized, in response to the media’s objections the Bill has been amended to remove the offending section.