Concern over threat against journalist

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, November 13, 2009 – Regional media associations have expressed deep concern over a threat made against a Surinamese journalist and have called for on police to investigate the incident, while providing protection for the media worker.

The Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) is reporting that Ivan Cairo, a journalist with De Ware Tijd newspaper in Suriname, has been the subject of a threatening phone call following publication of several articles in his newspaper on the disappearance of more than 90 kilogrammes of cocaine from the vault of the police department’s elite A-Team Unit.

Suriname’s Minister of Justice and the Police, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, and Attorney-General Subhaas Punwasi have been informed about the incident.

The Association of Surinamese Journalists (ASJ) has condemned the threat and says it is treating with it seriously.

The local association has also called for police guarantees for Cairo’s safety and for an investigation into the development.

In a statement issued yesterday, the ACM endorsed the ASJ’s calls and expressed support for Cairo and his colleagues.

“We believe the nature of this situation constitutes a grave threat to the safety and well-being of the journalist,” it said.

Cairo has had a long association with the ACM and is one of its founding members in his role as a former President of the ASJ.