The Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) has called for an investigation into the attack on journalist Calistra Farrier at the hands of campaign workers allied to the incumbent New National Party (NNP), calling for an investigation into the incident.
A statement from association president, Kern Mason, issued on Thursday, said the body condemned the actions against the journalist and called on the relevant authorities to undertake a speedy investigation into the matter.
Farrier, a senior journalist and creator and producer of the television programme Business Files, was physically assaulted by campaign manager for Peter David, Oswald Gilbert, and Fabian Bowen, the NNP Housing Officer for the Town of St George.
MWAG said, “The action to prevent the journalist from doing her job must be condemned without reservation.”
Gilbert and Bowen were involved in trying to block the candidate of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Claudette Joseph from erecting a swing set at the state-managed Chinese-built Mt Gay housing development.
Farrier was one of two reporters on the scene, however, she was the only one attacked.
The journalist, who has been on the job for almost 20 years, was verbally and physically assaulted by the two men.
A video of the incident, which has gone viral on the internet, shows Bowen trying to wrestle an iPad from the journalist’s hands, during which she suffered injuries to her wrist.
Gilbert is also seen slamming the device out of her hands, causing it to sail through the air and land on the ground.
Bowen, a black belt martial arts practitioner, was heard saying to the female journalist that he would kill her if she tried to record him, while Gilbert is heard in recordings of the incident saying that if anyone recorded him he would “break up their thing” (media equipment).
Farrier was acting in her capacity as a member of the Grenadian media and was operating in a public place and perfectly within her rights to record and provide coverage of the news event.
It is not clear why the female journalist was targeted but witnesses confirmed that she did not engage in any action that was outside of her function to record and report.
Farrier confirmed to reporters on Thursday that she is pursuing legal action against the two.
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers has been notified of the incident.
The local association also called on all politicians and their supporters to conduct themselves with civility and abide by the constitution which guarantees the freedom of the media and democracy in general.
Meanwhile the incumbent NNP, in whose name the two were acting, has yet to issue any official response to the attack on the journalist, though party sponsored programmes sought to vilify her after the incident gained major attention nationally.
Several members of the media have also made public comments condemning the actions of the two senior NNP campaign operatives, deeming their action to be grave affront to the free operation of the media.