Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017. 8:45 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Last week, Chairman of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Alberto August led a group of men who are protesting for the removal of Senator Eamon Courtenay from the Senate.
During the incident, Mace-bearer Brian “Yellowman” Audinette assaulted media personnel from three different media houses.
The media has since written a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, Aldo Salazar, requesting that Audinett be banned from the gallery.
The letter states, “as members of the media, we write to put on the record our strongest repudiation of the assault on several members of the media on Wednesday May 17, 2017, at the time of the suspension of the Special Senate Select Inquiry.”
The letter stressed the incidents where Krem TV’s Marisol Amaya was assaulted by Audinette as well as Plus TV’s cameraman Cirilo Choco and Channel 7’s cameraman, Dennis Ellis.
Notably, PLUS TV’s cameraman told one of the cops present that Audinett needed to be arrested but that elicited no reaction from the police who seemed intimidated or unwilling to react accordingly, the letter further added.
The letter says that members of the media are advised by the police that Audinett’s behavior toward the press could actually be prosecuted as “threat of damage to property” and “common assault”.
Two members of the media have since filed police reports against Audinett although no court action has been requested.
“The aggression toward the media should not be countenanced while we are performing our duty and in the National Assembly, no less!” it said.
The media made a call on the Committee to disallow Audinett from returning to witness the proceedings in the gallery as “he has grossly violated the sanctity of the National Assembly, which he himself serves.”
The media said that it hopes the request will be treated with the seriousness it deserves, considering that an attack of this nature on the media, if left unchecked, would speak ill of our country’s commitment to a free, fair and democratic society where the Fourth Estate can carry out its function without fear or hindrance.
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