Categorized | National News

The Rise of Legal Intimidation In The Bahamas

The Clifton Review

The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires, the links to unsavory characters, the use of the courts for personal agendas, the involvement of a political party, and the attacks on the Government of The Bahamas.

We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings. This series of articles asks the needed questions and presents the arguments in full.

The Rise of Legal Intimidation In The Bahamas

By P.J. Malone

Is the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on the decline with respect to freedom of the Press? Given the rise in media houses and reporters being dragged before the courts in recent years, the issue certainly requires focus.

Looking at the broader picture, an organization called Freedom House that looks at freedom of the press worldwide, released a 2016 Freedom of the Press report that presented the following key findings:

• “Press freedom in 2015 declined to lowest point in 12 years.

• “Loss of press freedom primarily linked to heightened partisanship in many countries, and the degree of extralegal intimidation and physical violence faced by journalists.” (Voice Of America News)

It is happening in The Bahamas, but it is also a very real concern worldwide—an attempt at ‘legal intimidation’.

Voice Of America describes a free press this way: “Area where political news is robust, safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.”

Well, by that description, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is being led down a dangerous path. Except, for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the challenge is coming from the private sector.

“Onerous legal” pressure is being brought to bear on media houses and reporters who dare to report on anything that isn’t positive about a particular organization funded to the tune of millions by a non-Bahamian.

What can they do? Lawsuits upon lawsuits directed at media outlets and individual reporters as we are seeing now.

What’s being done about it? Nothing, as far as we can see.

More and more individuals in the Bahamas are finding themselves being presented with baseless legal challenges by this group.

Do the Bahamian public not notice what’s going on? Why are the intellectuals silent on this matter? Why are conscientious individuals not speaking out, not questioning what is happening, not protesting such travesties?

Do they not see the road the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is being led down? Are they waiting until it is too late?

And how does one have ‘courage under fire’ where millions of dollars are being fed into a machine designed to achieve the agenda of its billionaire funder and silence anyone who opposes? What is the suggested course of action in the face of such unjust challenges?

Should media outlets opt to not report on anything related to that organization like one media outlet in The Bahamas has already acquiesced to? Should a media outlet report everything positive and rosy like another media outlet has demonstrated?

The only other option, it appears, is to go to court every time and fight the injustices of it. Except, it costs hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, to engage in such fights that go on for years at a time. And that’s exactly what they want—for you to spend all of your time and money fighting them.

Unless you are a rich individual with deep pockets like they have, you are surely bringing a knife to a gunfight.

What’s a reporter to do?

Written by Jones Bahamas

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