Call for the protection of journalists after the discovery of hand grenades in front of his home
The Suriname Journalists Association (ASJ) has called for protection to be provided to media worker Jason Pinas, after two hand grenades taped together were found under a car parked at his home on Thursday morning.
Pinas, who was recently assaulted by security guards of Suriname’s Vice President Ronnie Brunswijk, is said to be in shock but calm after the weapons were found under his brother’s car in the yard of his residence in Wanica, in the north of the country. .
The ASJ condemned what it called a “brutal attack” on the life of one of its members, coming two weeks after Brunswijk’s security officers were involved in an altercation with Pinas.
Pinas had his phone confiscated by security personnel when he approached the vice-president’s car to take the photo outside the Parliament building. He said he was forced to the ground and had pain in his neck, head and arm after the incident.
Pinas also clashed with Brunswijk earlier this year when the vice-president declined to answer a question from him at a press conference.
“We are asking for Jason’s protection immediately,” ASJ said, adding that President Chandrikapersad Santokhi had contacted his leader, Carla BoÃ«tius, requesting a meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The discovery of the grenades comes a day after the ASJ called for a full investigation into the Pinas assault, expressing concern that Brunswijk’s bodyguards had not been taken into custody. The association said the attorney general said because Pinas had not suffered any physical injuries, his alleged attackers were allowed to return home.
âWhat happened this morning was to imply that we were right. The investigation must continue and that is why ASJ has hired a lawyer to pursue the case, âhe said. âAt the moment, we can only assume that those related to the vice president are responsible, but we have no evidence. We are now awaiting what the government will do about it. We will know more after the meeting with President Santokhi.
In the meantime, the Caribbean Media Workers Association (ACM) has requested an update and has expressed solidarity with its colleagues in Suriname.