Jamaica The International Press Institute (IPI) welcomed the statement by ministers of the Jamaican government regarding the possibility of repealing criminal defamation this year. During a press freedom mission conducted in June, the minister of Foreign Affairs and former minister of Justice agreed with IPI that journalists shouldn't go to prison for defamation: "There are other ways of dealing (with this issue rather) than using criminal courts. The view is that the time has passed for empires; the time has passed for having the laws." When asked about the time needed for the legal reforms, he added: "That bill may very well be tabled this calendar year. I suspect and I expect it will happen". Barbados IPI also visited Barbados where meetings were held with media outlets and government representatives, including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as part of its campaign to decriminalize defamation in the Caribbean. While no formal reports of violations were made in Bridgetown in 2012, there is an ongoing concern about the lack of official engagement that is taking place between the ruling Democratic Labour Party and the media. Eastern Caribbean In Grenada, freelance journalist and President of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) Rawle Titus staged a short protest outside of the Prime Minister's Office on Monday, April 2. Titus was expressing concern over what he has described as signs of a threat to press freedom in Grenada. He was recently fired from his post as chief writer for the Grenada Advocate, which is run by the Barbados-based Advocate Publishing, for his refusal to retract or apologize for a front page story that the Prime Minister's Press Secretary Richard Simon complained had inaccuracies. In a statement, Titus said: "My case, though extreme, is not, by any stretch of the imagination an isolated one. Over the years, many in newsrooms across this nation, have been whispering to each other similar accounts of being made to retract stories or of having their stories pulled from the bulletin or press before broadcast/publication. Knowing what I and others know, I thought it necessary to speak out, on the matter, having fallen victim. I assure you I do not regret the exercise, nor do I regret bringing the subtle attempts by this regime to suppress freedom of information to the fore. It is one thing for a man or institution to preach freedom of the press yet to openly practice something different; but it is an entirely different ball game to preach it openly yet in clandestine ways seek to shut up those who through their broadcasts and publications, illuminate their shortcomings." Of concern in Grenada was also a growing incidence of aggression against journalists in the pursuit of their duties. Guyana In Guyana, there was unease over the establishment of a new broadcasting authority. Less than a month after its mandate came into effect, the National Broadcasting Authority (NBA) faced criticism for its domination by members with links to the ruling party. Guyana's broadcasting law, approved last year, was intended, in part, to reduce the State's control of radio and television by promoting the issuance of private licenses. The government currently possesses a radio monopoly and though it has granted a number of private television licenses, private broadcasting in opposition strongholds, primarily the city of Linden, has been restricted. However, the law also gives the President sole power to appoint all but one of the NBA's members, reserving the remaining spot for nomination by the leader of the opposition. In early September, former minister of human services Bibi Shadick of the ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP) was named as board chairperson by President Donald Ramotar. The president also chose five other members reportedly close to the PPP, including a former army chief, the current head of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority, and a lawyer in the president's office. A seventh member, Sherwood Lowe, a lecturer at the University of Guyana, was selected by the country's largest opposition party, A Partnership for National Unity (ANPU), formerly known as the People's National Congress). The composition of the board has drawn criticism not only for its apparent lack of broadcasting expertise, but also for a manner of selection that critics believe will politicize the board's decisions. Opposition media have also expressed concerns over the inclusion of ethical and content standards which are open to interpretation. Trinidad and Tobago: A public campaign, led in part by high-ranking government officials, sought to discredit two prominent Trinidadian investigative journalists. Denyse Renne of the Trinidad Guardian and Asha Javeed of the Trinidad Express were the target of public accusations and criticism by leading members of the ruling United National Congress (UNC), particularly Minister of National Security Jack Warner, after reporting on a legal scandal that has rocked the administration of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. In addition, the two journalists were reportedly the subject of widely circulated e-mails hinting at allegations related to their private lives, a campaign that IPI and Trinidadian media groups condemned as an attempt to instill fear and self-censorship. The Media Association of Trinidad & Tobago, in its statement, said: "Personal attacks in response to news reports are not a valid or acceptable means of discrediting the information unearthed by journalists who are simply doing their job. There are various channels available, including legal ones, through which public figures may obtain redress if inaccurate information about them is carried in the media." There was no indication as to the source of the e-mails, which have been described in the press as "nasty." Arrests Two newspaper journalists were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries in which they allegedly posed as police officers to gain entry into their victims' homes. Back in April, television host Ian Alleyne was also arrested and charged with alleged breaches of Section 32(2) of the Sexual Offences Act. That Section states: "A person who publishes or broadcasts any matter contrary to sub-section 1 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for five years." The charges stemmed from the broadcast of the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl on his reality TV crime show aired on TV6 last October. The final charge was for allegedly resisting arrest when a party of police officers from the Port-of-Spain CID went to Express House, Port-of-Spain to interview Alleyne. From June 23 to 26, IPI held its World Congress 2012 in Trinidad and Tobago. The press freedom organization also held meetings in Port of Spain with media outlets and government representatives, such as the Justice Minister and the Attorney General, as part of its campaign to decriminalize defamation in the Caribbean.