Grenadian journalist, Hamlet Mark, returns to report on the protest after being released from police custody Thursday afternoon. (IWN photo)

Grenadian journalist, Hamlet Mark, was Thursday afternoon released from police custody without charge after being detained for hours.

He was taken into custody while covering a police crackdown of a protest by supporters of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) outside the Electoral Office in Kingstown.

The waning protest was reinvigorated on Thursday, its 38th day, after police took nine protesters into custody on Wednesday and slapped four of them with illegal assembly charges.

Mark, who runs the St. George’s-based Caribupdate News Service, told iWitness News he was filming the crackdown when a senior officer ordered that he be taken into custody.

“I was just taking some shots and one of the officers who I filmed yesterday arresting a lady said, ‘Oh you feel you is police? Go with him.’”

Mark, who is also an advisor to the Keith Mitchell government in Grenada, said he went along with the police officers to the Central Police Station, located a few hundred yards away.

He told iWitness News that while he was being taken to the police precinct, he asked the officers if he was under arrest and they said that they did not know.

Mark said that at the station, he was booked and relieved of his camera and microphone, which were returned to him with all files in place when he was released.

He, however, said that he was verbally abused by police officers while in custody.

“What I got was a slew of verbal abuse from officers there that my reports [are] putting the government in a bad light and embarrassing the government — I am from Grenada, they don’t want me here, and I am anti-ULP (Unity Labour Party) and that kind of thing,” Mark said.

He dismissed the accusation by the police as “laughable”.

“After two and a half hours in there, they said they would let me go without charges, but investigations continue — whatever that means,” Mark told iWitness News.

Mark has made several trips to St. Vincent over the past weeks, covering the general elections and the developments that have followed.

Electoral officials say that the ULP won the elections and a fourth term in office by taking eight of the 15 parliamentary seats while the NDP won the remaining seven.

Regional and international observers have declared the elections free and fair.

The NDP, however, claims that the ULP stole the ballot and is contesting the results in court.

The protest drew new life and attracted its largest crowd on Thursday, its 28th day, after a police crackdown on Wednesday. (IWN photo)
The protest drew new life and attracted its largest crowd on Thursday, its 28th day, after a police crackdown on Wednesday. (IWN photo)

Mark told iWitness News that he covers politics as well as other current affairs developments across the Caribbean

It was, however, the first time that he was detained by police while practising his craft.

“I have been throughout the Caribbean, I have been in other areas as well. Never have the police tried to intimidate and harass me,” said Mark, who has been a journalist or decades.

Nine opposition supporters were taken into custody during a police crackdown on Wednesday and four of them appeared in court on Thursday slapped with illegal assembly charges.

14 replies on “St. Vincent police detain Grenada journalist”

  1. Jeannine James says:

    Khmer Rouge rule in SVG, it seems like. The season of Pol Pot is upon Vincentians. SVG is enjoying its own homemade version of enlightenment when it starts to casually detain journalists. Such a noble civilization. Sweet.

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      Look Joker, what the hell you know about Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. You just run words out of your mouth like your ass, and I’ll say this to you that your ass is ahead of your mouth.
      Go and read about Pol Pot, and Khmer Rouge, then reverse your asses position, about ST Vincent.

      1. Jeannine James says:

        You don’t even sound like yiu deserve even point 5 percent of my discretionary reading time. I just stumbled on your wisdom by accident. Nothing you say will change the clarty that SVG is looking to join the ranks of countries like Somalia, Syria, Iran, Turkey and others in respect of abuse of journalists. You can’t change that

        By the way, you might need to embrace some self-respect at the very least and direct your frustrations properly. You have no case. In this respect, SVG has no case either. That’s way more time and ink than I intended to squander on you. lol!

      2. Lutha and it was people like you that supported Pol Pot, if we listen to anything you say we will slide further into the crap.

        I know the truth is annoying, but it will prevail regardless of your silliness which if you were not an old man would be misconstrued as immaturity.

        Where has your life gone? to the hands of Satan, and you carry forth his bidding.

      3. Jeannine James says:

        Genius, Luther Bonadie, rather than exciting yourself and flinging abuse recklessly, let me point you to something to read to up your game. You might be able to recover and not come off like such an ignoramus if you were able to read the iWN piece captioned “UN Security Council Urged To Do More To Protect Reporters”. It was published on July 17, 2013.

        SVG seems to be doing a good job of heaving itself down the rabbit hole, It certainly does not need you to add to its woes. From the sound of you, I fail to see how you could be a credit to Gonsalves. Knock yourself out with invective now.

    2. Yes, Ralph has a way of attacking the messengers. We are supposed to walk around worshiping Ralph and all he does like good little breadfruit pickers, as if we are on soma.
      I wonder how the Government-run confession booths are going?
      “Your Highness, I have sinned….I voted NDP.”
      “Your punishment is more taxes!”

  2. Hey me Grenadian brethren, no hard feelings eh, wey happen the police tek you for one ah Luzette King children…if he been know that you ah one of Bishop people, he would nah lock you up…Bishop is a hero of we Dear Leader and so you hav a free pass…but the police f#$k up…right now, that police is on his knees in front of Gonsalves begging for forgiveness.

    me Grenadian brethren, you can overstay your time in vincyland and not a soul gwine bother wid yo now…go enjoy yourself, tek all the picture yo like..as a matter of fact, you go tomorrow at the protest, pull out your dic# and pee all over that same policeman shoes..and not one soul gwine touch you…you ah Bishop people..and we continuing the work of Maurice Bishop in Vincyland.

  3. Word on the street is that Hamlet was asked to move back a bit from where he was filming and refused. He was then asked again to move back and again refused, saying “I’m a journalist and journalist should be allowed to”etc in a distasteful manner to the Police, who then confronted him asking him “if he think he was the Police”… Well we all know what happened afterwards.

    However isn’t this the same Hamlet Mark who Grenada PM Tillman Thomas back in 2010 accused of “giving Grenada a bad name in the regional and International media”?

    Isn’t this the same Hamlet Mark who Munich Farmer accused in his “Open letter to Hamlet Mark” of complicity in a number of instances, admonishing him for using “every facility and faculty at your disposal in publishing scores of blog wantonly attacking the NDC administration”.

    Isn’t this the same Hamlet Mark that was labeled by “Grenadian Class” as …”the Joseph Goebbels of Grenada”.

    So what the hell is Hamlet Mark up to in SVG? Just asking!

  4. Kenton did you invite Hamlet over for tea and a chat? Probably!
    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!…that’s all we’re asking for!

    1. Jeannine James says:

      Yeah, Kenton. Did you arrange the whole thing so that Hamlet Mark, a regional journalist, would be apprehended and detained by Police as he covered the confident actions of police in a public place?

    2. Ralph, Hans, or whoever you are today Vinciman, why should Kenton and the man not have tea or even a rum together they are of the same profession. One thing I am sure of is that Kenton plays it straight so whatever your nasty inference is it will not stick or mean a thing to right minded Vincentians.

      Neither Kenton or Hamlet are ordinary journalists they are highly educated professionals. Hamlet Mark is a highly respected journalist with quite a lot of international experience in radio, TV and associated News Services he was once founder and operator of the Munich-based YSFM Radio. He is also a former Managing Director of the Grenada Broadcast Network.

      Hamlet Mark currently operates the Hollywood, FL-based Caribupdate News Services and produces such regional radio shows as Newsbreak, Caribbean This Week, Caribbean Visit and Caribbean Soundtrack.

      Seems the police chose the wrong person when they took Mr. Mark to the police barracks and made those silly observations. What a scoop for him, I am waiting to see what he writes about his Vincentian experience.

      What is really great is your observations Vinciman because once again they are extremely damaging to the ULP and the Comrade, keep up the good work.

      1. Binose you said this “once again they are extremely damaging to the blah blah blah” crap since 2014 and the ULP still won the elections “fair and square” so WTF you really saying?

  5. Jeannine James says:

    While genius Luther hurls abuse and enjoys himself, the story has been picked up by a Cambodian news agency. Cambodia will relate to stories like this in ways that not every country can. Why so? Because Cambodia was ground zero for the Khmer Rouge that sponsored strokes such as those being tried against journalists among others . It was Cambodia that the Khmer Rouge unsuccessfully renamed Democratic Kampuchea but it never quite caught on. Perhaps, genius Luther can eschew bile and frustration and share with readers some insights into what the new name of SVG might be. Stay in your lane, bro.

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