May 14, 2021

Trinidad journalist Bassant returns home despite death threats

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Mark-BassantFrom Caribbean360

Mark-BassantVIENNA, Austria, Thursday July 24, 2014, CMC – Investigative journalist Mark Bassant of Trinidad and Tobago has returned to home despite the continued existence of a threat against his life.

Bassant told the International Press Institute (IPI) that he made the tough decision to leave his country in May after he received a number of confirmed threats.

He said although the case is still being investigated, he made the even-tougher decision to return home and continue to expose issues of public interest, such as alleged corruption within government agencies and criminal activities taking place in the twin-island nation.

“I decided to come to Trinidad because I did not want them to win, I wanted to take back my life and do what I do best for the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean”, said Bassant, a senior reporter for the Caribbean Communications Network in Trinidad.

On May 22, Bassant released a video through the media stating that he had received a call earlier that month from what he called “a very reliable underworld source” advising that criminal entities wanted to harm him.

Later in the week following the initial threat, Bassant said, he met with another source who confirmed face-to-face that his life was threatened.

This was reported to a member of the national security services, who reportedly confirmed that the threat was imminent and advised him to arrange around-the-clock security.

In May Bassant had decided to leave Trinidad in order to ensure his safety.

Addressing the threats against him earlier in the year, Bassant told IPI that “the investigation is still ongoing” and up to Wednesday he had not received further updates from authorities on any possible leads into his case.

Meanwhile the IPI’s Press Freedom Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean Vanessa I. Garnica called on authorities to continue pursuing the investigation.

“We urge authorities in Trinidad and Tobago to fully investigate the threats made against Mr. Bassant and to bring the perpetrators to justice in order to ensure a safe environment for members of the press attempting to expose information that may be of public interest,” she said.

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