Sunday 1.1.2017 in Expression in St Vincent and the Grenadines Country Page
The freedom of expression is protected by Article 10 of the Constitution, with limitations on the basis of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and the protection of the rights and reputations of others. There are several privately-owned newspapers which are free to publish criticisms of the government, and while the main radio news station is state-run, citizens have access to cable and satellite TV. There are no limitations on internet access. However, many media are openly partisan and in practice constitutional protections are not always realised. Defamation remains a criminal offence punishable by a jail sentence of up to two years. Libel suits, including those brought by the prime minister, are common, and a radio station seen as aligned to the opposition has faced numerous lawsuits. There is civil society concern about a cybercrime law, passed in August 2016, that extends criminal defamation law to online content and introduces vaguely-defined crimes. There is an access to information law, and CSOs make information requests, but the law has yet to be fully implemented.