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Shots fired at Antiguan reporter

(IPI/IFEX) - An Antigua and Barbuda-based online news website reported yesterday [5 March 2013] that one of its journalists had been shot at several times after covering a West Indies cricket match on Sunday night.

According to the website, Caribarena, the incident occurred outside of Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. The journalist escaped the scene unharmed, while the driver of the car received wounds from a shattered window glass.

Speaking by phone to the International Press Institute (IPI), a Caribarena representative called the incident “highly unusual.” She also noted that several days earlier the website's management had received news of a “verbal threat” against the paper, reportedly made by an unidentified Antigua Labour Party official, believed to be related to the site's ongoing investigation of a debt agreement between the Japanese-owned IHI Debt Settlement Company and the Antiguan government.

“We urge Antiguan authorities to investigate the cause of the reported shooting, and determine whether there is any link between this incident and the reported threats made against Caribarena,” IPI Deputy Director Anthony Mills said. “The perpetrator or perpetrators must be held accountable.”

IPI will visit Antigua and Barbuda later this spring on a press freedom mission as part of its campaign to abolish criminal defamation in the Caribbean.

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