Should photographs of juveniles be published
Stabroek News
November 2, 2001

Dear Editor,

The reports of the anti-truancy campaign carried in the SN of Wednesday 24 October, had some photographs of the children under investigation. I used to think that identities of juvenile offenders are to be protected. One of the photographs was even on the front page - has SN violated the unwritten code of ethics which journalists sometimes use to protect children?

On another issue, some of the readers have supported an idea that the Government of Guyana should encourage Afghan refugees to settle in Guyana. The Afghan refugee crisis has been brought about by years of fighting, and more recently by the American attacks on Afghanistan.

Thank God, there are some members of the public who have expressed opposition to the Government's support of the bombings. Our government should not want to relocate Afghan people from their homeland, they should lobby with the minority of governments around the world for an end to the terror against the Afghan people. So far , at least 13 civilians have been 'confirmed killed' . Their deaths cannot be justified, since those civilians are not at war with the US. Amber Amundson's husband Craig was killed in the Pentagon on September 11. In an open letter she wrote "....

Craig(her husband) would not have wanted a violent response to avenge his death. And I cannot see how good can come out of it. We cannot solve violence with violence. Revenge is a self perpetuating cycle. Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." We will no longer be able to see that we hold the light of Liberty if we ourselves are blinded by vengeance, anger, and fear. I ask our nation's leaders not to take the path that leads to more widespread hatreds - that make my husband's death just one more in an unending spiral of killing.

I call on our national leaders to find the courage to respond to this incomprehensible tragedy by breaking the cycle of violence.

I call on them to marshal this great nation's skills and resources to lead a worldwide dialogue on freedom from terror and hate. I call on them to focus our strength to work for justice and peace around the globe. I ask them to unleash our country's immense energy to create a world in which compassion and forgiveness are possible. ...."

Our friends the US government still penalised us for not accepting their deportees. What then can be wrong with supporting Mrs Amundson's plea?

Yours faithfully,

Vidyaratha Kissoon

Editor's note

We do not publish photographs of children under l6 who are charged. These children were not about to be charged.