Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Submission from Mr Clive Golt, Editor, The New People, Gibraltar

  I am writing to inform you of the harsh treatment and political persecution I have been subjected to by the Chief Minister of Gibraltar Peter Caruana.

  Until 1996, I was Head of News at the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation. In April of that year, I was asked to accept voluntary redundancy by the corporation because I took up an invitation by the Chief Minister, at the time, Joe Bossano, to be included in his party's line-up for the general election. We lost the election and, finding myself without employment, the GSLP Opposition offered me to take over their party newspaper, The New People, which was published occasionally by them. I accepted the offer provided the party did not exercise editorial control. The party executive took a vote on the issue and decided to meet my terms so I proceeded to re-vamp the paper and converted it into a weekly with general content apart from politics. Editorially, I supported the GSLP, but did not receive subsidies and was not subjected to controls.

  Immediately, the Chief Minister banned me from press conferences, denied me access to Government information and ensured public funds spent on official advertising did not include my newspaper. Given that The New People was my only source of income my right to earn a living in my chosen profession was denied me and I was subjected to unfair competition.

  Despite attempts to negotiate with the Chief Minister, representations to the Ombudsman (who found in my favour), press colleagues, institutions etc, Mr Caruana refused to budge arguing that The New People was a party political organ and not a newspaper. I also made countless representations to successive Governors and Deputy Governors to no avail. My only recourse has been to engage in legal proceedings which have proved arduous and long protracted. The paper continues to be published on a minimal budget but I am unable to draw a salary and are currently working in Spain as an alternative.

  I appeal to your good offices to take up my case, in defence of the Freedom of the Press and my individual Human Rights in our so-called Democracy. I am available for interview at your convenience.

23 January 2008

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