Roban: Banning Crew Is ‘Affront To Freedom’

April 6, 2014

denied stamp generic 312tre“Minister Fahy’s decision to ban the overseas film crew is an affront to freedom of expression,” and the PLP encourages him to reverse his decision, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Walter Roban said this evening [Apr 6].

Citing “potential reputational risks to Bermuda,” Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy denied work permits to an overseas film crew who planned to film a documentary on the Rebecca Middleton murder.

The filmmakers were planning to travel to Bermuda to film a documentary about the 1996 murder of Rebecca Middleton.

The 17 year old Canadian was raped and killed while vacationing on the island, and the handling of the case has been widely criticized both locally and overseas.

The film crew reportedly plan to continue with their plans to produce the documentary despite the refusal, and plan to conduct interviews outside of Bermuda.

In explaining the decision, Minister Fahy said: “Regarding the film crew’s request to visit, after carefully and extensively assessing the matter, we recognised that there would be some potential reputational risks to Bermuda associated with the ultimate airing of this documentary.

“Based on the provisions under the law and at my discretion, a decision was made to decline their application for temporary work permits,” added Minister Fahy.

In response, Mr Roban said, “The murder of Rebecca Middleton, in the summer of 1996, is a horrific tragedy for her family and a disturbing and embarrassing page of Bermuda’s history.

“For everyone to move forward, this story should not be swept under the rug as those who do not learn from the past are often destined to repeat it. Since the Middleton tragedy, Bermuda has had multiple murders and deaths by manslaughter, with parents, families and friends still seeking some form of justice and closure. The PLP sees all these crimes as equally tragic.

“Like most Bermudians, the thought of a potentially reputation damaging documentary being produced is not a comfortable one. Despite this, we are very concerned at the manner in which these documentary producers have been refused entry into Bermuda while trying to tell this important and tragic story.

“The Minister has cited the potential damage to Bermuda’s reputation but his attempt to suppress the story undoubtedly further tarnish Bermuda’s reputation as a modern, sophisticated jurisdiction that believes in openness, honesty and transparency.

“In their possible haste to avoid negative publicity about this bungled case, the OBA government have potentially created a larger PR problem for Bermuda.

“Minister Fahy’s decision to ban this film crew is an affront to freedom of expression and we encourage him to reconsider his actions, reverse his decision, and grant temporary work permits to the film crew,” added Mr. Roban.

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Comments (62)

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  1. Really says:

    Wise decision they tried to sneak in and plus too many people trying to profit from others misfortunes .

    • I agree with you.It’s far too often others do take a families sorry / grief for profits…and profits only! Yes, we all here on the Island realize the wrongs that were done surrounding Ms.Kathy Middleton case, and then to add insult to injury, the releasing of them two that still should be in prison. We’ve had enough already.

    • Sad News says:

      Stifling the press is WRONG

      Fahy et al is truly turning Bermuda into a Banana Republic – the communist nations band freedom of the press. Putin, Castro and now Fahy OBA government are changing laws for contracts already signed by the previous government and not allowing the film crew in, then to say they didn’t apply for permission then deny permission, who will be coming to bermuda with the US consulate warning Americans to be careful of the polluted beaches and now this.

      Fahy is wrong.

      • Suzie Quattro says:

        Who exactly is ‘stifling the press’? The ‘press’, or in this case the large powerful tv organization, can say anything they want.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Shhh! They’ve got a mountain to make! Don’t interrupt while they’re working on the molehill!

  2. James Herald says:

    I’m quite sure that Mr Roban would also be complaining if Fahy had let the film crew in. Complaining how he had knowingly let people in who were going show Bermuda in a bad light.

    • Unearthed says:

      I’d have to agree with Fahy on this one. Why would you want to air a documentary about a teenage girl who got murdered in Bermuda? It’s bad enough people are scared to come to Bermuda because of the Bermuda Triangle. We want the media to portray Bermuda as a wonderful and safe tourism destination.

      The PLP are talking just to talk on this particular topic.

      • Jeremy says:

        They will make it anyway, just not here and they will probably explain why they were not able to make it here….

        • BETTTY TRUMP says:

          Correct @Jermey, they will make it anyway, and the world will see Bermuda in a negative light by the worldwide media. The government will be the ones whom are now responsible for the negative press that has come towards Bermuda. There is nothing to hide here, let the story be told.

          Well said MP Roban. This is not a good decision or move on the chess board by Mr. Fahy and the OBAubp government for allowing it.

        • BETTTY TRUMP says:

          Yes @Jeremy, they will, and the worldwide media will reflect upon Bermuda in a negative light.

          Well said MP. Roban. An excellent article pointing out the key points behind such a matter.

          This will not do Bermuda any good, and Mr Fahy and the OBAubp will long-term impact of their actions, all in good time.

    • Wine and Cheese says:

      James were you here for the pass 14 years? and to hear all the moaning and complaining from the then opposition. Now only to gain power and do worst than then previous government?

      • Mike Hind says:

        If you think they’re doing worse than the previous Goverment, where have YOU been?

  3. Piper says:

    Quite right Minister Fahy, Bermuda has nothing to gain from another investigation of this case.

    I’m sure that if your decision had been different Walter Roban would have been complaining about that too …

    • brigadooner says:

      Yes but a lot to lose from locking them out. The documentary is still going to be made and now we won’t have the chance to mitigate the damage through our input, or defend Bermuda in anyway. Now our reputation is in the hands of a slighted film crew alone.

      • BETTTY TRUMP says:

        Well said @brigadooner…the documentary will still be made, and the unfortunately thing is that the government has now put Bermuda in a negative light. Bermuda has lost its opportunity to at least have some input, but no this Knee Jerk reaction by Fahy has taken that away from Bermuda.

        The media worldwide will reflect upon this decision by Bermuda in not so popular light. This is silly move by OBAubp, as today nothing is a secret, and very little can be hidden or control by a government, unless we are living in North Korean, and even than there are ways in which information is released.

        Well said Mr. Roban. Well said.

    • Spittal pond skink says:

      Lets see if the PLP can find a film crew to look into how the Uighurs got to the island and who benefited from this amazing humanitarian act of kindness extended on our behalf by Ewart

  4. Runner says:

    Walter, get a job. You are sounding very desperate these days. Sunday’s are for family…..not attention.

  5. Lick My Chicken says:

    It don’t matter. Either decision made the PLP would blow situation out of proportion. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.

  6. Coffee says:

    Well , it could be said that the OBA never meet a Canadian they didn’t like !

    • jt says:

      Ignorant. Doesn’t even make sense in this instance.

  7. Bermuda1st says:

    When Mr Fahy and his bunch was in opposition they helped to spread nothing but negativity about Bermuda and the Plp. Saying that we are anti business, anti foreigner. And when that crook Bush from The caymans was saying a lot of bad things about Bermuda. A lot of you were egging him on.

    And plus it is not a day that goes by that some of you dont bring up this case. But now all of a sudden you want to let it rest. Until you see fit to raise it. And that came under the UBP’S WATCH. If the four foreigners didnt try to railroad Justice Smih. If they had waited until all the evidence to come in. They both would have been locked up for a very long time. But no Kirk Mundy, the lead investigator, the commissioner of police and the AG Mr Motley all foreigners. Came up with the sweetheart 5yr deal for Mundy. And dont leave out minister Fahy very own Ag Mr. Pettingale who was Mundys lawyer.

  8. mixitup says:

    I’m gonna lean to the right and say… ROBAN take a break! He made the right decision. A documentary has already been made on this IN BERMUDA! Fahy go tell them to get a copy of it.

  9. Come Correct says:

    I’m actually stunned that anyone would try to capitalize on this situation. The film crew should be ashamed since they’re only doing this for profit and ratings and Roban needs to go f*** himself. I haven’t read anywhere where anyone consulted the immediate family for consent. Yet the plp see this as an opportunity to bring up “openness, honesty and transparency”…. I need a vodka. In later news, liquor sales are up by 5.6789%.

    • Come wrong says:

      When you tell someone to go F*** himself be a MAN a put your real name on here.

      • Be Like Me says:

        lol… Mr Come Wrong?

      • Come Correct says:

        When you learn to read English maybe you can come up with an original name of your own. There was no demand for him to f*** himself, that would be impossible, it was just a rude way of saying he’s making a political football out of something he has no right to. I don’t fully agree with the decision here but there logically wasn’t much of a choice. The lesser of two evils was chosen. If he had granted the work permits Roban would still be in the news to say something. Why is he speaking though? Didn’t he get fired?

  10. el says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call banning the crew an affront to freedom, i would call not allowing the electorate to make certain decisions through either referendum or even voicing or writing an affront to freedom, also stealing the language, culture of melinated(black) people is an affront to freedom, assuming control of an island without any validation, is an affront to freedom!, not being able to get the jobs in your own country is an affront to freedom!!when the plp attended washington they were not even allowed to share local quisine, another affront to freedom, .. but not allowing a film crew to come was a decision, if everyone was just allowed to exploit countries as they choose it would be anarchy.. sometimes some people need to be told no! get to know the word, no! we need to have some discernment about things..

  11. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    I agree with Mr Roban, it was a horrific tragedy, the decision to not allow the documentary to be filmed here is flawed, it was and continues to be an embarrassing chapters of our history. I do not however believe for an instant that the PLP share this sentiment as Mr Roban claims.
    The hypocrisy of the PLP protesting this as affront to freedom of expression after their 14 years of ignoring Bermudians’ freedom of expression, trying to suppress the media repeatedly for their own purposes, hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars wasted in their pursuit.
    They had 14 years to redress the antiquated flaws in our legal system that allowed the injustice to occur, instead, from their first politically appointed AG to their last, they failed to even try and address it, and even flat out denied it. Now the PLP considers it an injustice, where were they during their own part in this injustice for their 14 years, how often did they speak out against the injustice in own justice system during their 14 years, at what point during their 14 years were they planning to redress it?
    It is another sad part to this tragedy, Mr Roban/PLP, this is justice for all Bermudians that needs to be addressed, so do not feign concern with this hypocritical statement just to score some political points.

  12. Fools of Fahy says:

    Can Fahy tell us if this freak will be deported for rape and killing this young lady……you owe Bermuda the truth……..

  13. nuffin but the truth says:

    The defunct plp have NOTHING to crow about but Fahy’s decision was WRONG and it will cost HIM and BERMUDA.

    FAHY needs to do the right thing and reverse this bad decision and then RESIGN!

    • Jahkai says:

      This was a bad decision, but it’s not a resign decision, particularly as there are dozens on this site supporting it.

      Roban should also be ashamed of attempting to score political points. Affront to freedom? Try the entire PLP Government years.

  14. Mr. Speaker says:

    THIS SHOWS ROBAN IS FOR HIMSELF AND NOT FOR BERMUDA. GO EDUCATE YOU SELF ABIT MORE.

  15. Common Sense says:

    I strongly suspect that if the shoe had been on the other foot, and the PLP was still in power, they would have made exactly the same decision in the false belief that it would reduce any further negative publicity. However, I totally disagree with the decision to deny the film crew permission to enter Bermuda because it will only add flames to the continuing controversy.

  16. BlessYourHeart says:

    Ohhhhhj f*** here we go!

  17. Know the facts says:

    On another note everyone: remember Rebecca’s family must have given the film a thumbs up to do the film. Could you imagine how they feel? No justice at all for that family

    • Suzie Quattro says:

      What makes you think the film makers even asked their opinion?

      • Axcot says:

        Exactly – I could go out tomorrow and start filming a movie about the case. Who’s to stop me?

        • Be Like Me says:

          Exactly… A Bermudian film crew could have been hired to film the documentary and avoided all this. There are Bermudian’s quite capable of doing it!!

  18. Coffee says:

    Expect massive fallout from this anti business , anti foreigner posturing by the wagon circling OBA government /party . Shooting off Bermudas feet toe by toe . What does Craigo got to say about this latest stab at democracy ?

    • Suzie Quattro says:

      Isn’t Roban being anti-Bermudian?

    • Fly Boy says:

      Craig has nothing to the media. That’s the norm for the LEADER! Plus he’s going away again so what does that tell you? The man does not care what we think. Carry on and Keep Calm Bermuda.

    • jt says:

      Coffee- Poor sarcasm or excellent hypocracy.

  19. 1minute says:

    So Mr Roban of the PLP is suggesting that we give work permits to foreigners to work in Bermuda when we have qualified Bermudans that can do the work?

  20. wowwwwwww says:

    as a Canadian and I speak for many, SHAME on you Bermuda
    Let this crew in, unless your hiding something
    This has already made headlines here in Canada.
    BIB BIG BIG MISTAKE BERMUDA.

  21. Young observer says:

    I think they should just let the come and do their documentary. It’s a documentary it’s meant to portray the truth, it’s not a lavish Hollywood film that will tarnish Bermuda’s reputation. Are they so afraid to share the truth with the world? Some day Bermuda is not going to have many Bermudians left, why because you can’t escape drama here. The people you have to avoid are integrated in your lives whether at church or by simply being friends with your friends. Maybe that’s another story someone can film, how to escape your enemies in Bermuda.

  22. JUSTICE says:

    If a documentary has been done already, then why do another? I believe that why this Middleton case remains on Bermuda’s front burner is because Rick Meens & family have not been able to extricate themselves from the tremendous guilt of if only I/We had done thus and so, etc. RM would still be here. He and his find it necessary, for their own little, temporal comfort, to hold this island hostage in this matter.

    Accept the truth which shall be revealed on Judgement Day! So, forget about it and get on with life.

  23. Cookie Monster says:

    Just remind me again about why work permits are issued? I would be amazed if there was any value to Bermuda in issuing permits for this. Meanwhile there are many who contribute to the Bermuda economy who are refused permits.
    No one is stopping these people from profitting from anothers misfortune even though it is morally wrong becasue we believe in freedom of expression. However to issue them with work permits would be to collude with their profiting from anothers hurt.
    Get with the facts Roban where is your moral compass, left it in church?? Or was it the Planniong Deparment?

  24. Rhonda Neil says:

    http://www.ckwstv.com/2014/03/28/middleton-documentary-on-hold/

    A DOCUMENTARY CREW HAS SUFFERED A BIG SETBACK IN ITS EFFORTS TO DO A FILM ON THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF REBECCA MIDDLETON.
    THE TV SERIES — CALLED “MURDER IN PARADISE” — WAS SUPPOSED TO SHOOT SCENES IN BERMUDA — WHERE MIDDLETON WAS MURDERED IN 1996.
    BUT BERMUDA IS TELLING THEM TO STAY AWAY.
    NEWSWATCH’S MORGANNE CAMPBELL REPORTS.

    David Middleton: “I’m not terribly surprised by that I’m just again, disappointed.”

    David Middleton is used to disappointment.
    He’s spent nearly two decades fighting for justice for his daughter Rebecca.
    She was raped and murdered while vacationing in Bermuda in July of 1996.
    A botched investigation let the main suspect walk away, the murder charge thrown out.
    Another man got five years behind bars for being an accessory.
    David Middleton:
    “The fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter what happens to those two individuals it won’t bring Becky back.”
    A television crew was to begin filming a documentary about the case.
    Titled “Murder in Paradise”, the crew initially had permission to work in Bermuda.
    But the government suddenly reversed its decision.

    David Middleton:
    “They applied they got the application to go down and do the filming there and then the night before, 530 the night before they’re supposed to leave they get this notice that they’re not supposed to come.
    That’s not nearly enough notice, typically the way they do it in Bermuda.”
    Middleton says he was on board with the documentary and would like to see it filmed at the scene of the crime.
    David Middleton:
    “If the government really wants to do something, they want to be part of correcting something that went wrong then they should be on board with having it done in Bermuda.”
    If producers can’t get permission to film in Bermuda, scenes for the documentary will likely be shot at a similar Caribbean location . A date for the Middleton episode of Slice Network’s doc-drama series — “Murder in Paradise” — has not been set .
    Morganne Campbell CKWS Newswatch Prince Edward County.

    • Bermuda man says:

      Guess you didn’t see the article about the film crew NOT applying for a temporary work permit at all?

  25. Use Locals says:

    Why don’t they work with a local film producer… We have several – Bermuda Docs should be screening (lol) at this decision but then again he just maybe an OBA supporter – he was at the victory party on Reid Street.

  26. Believe says:

    Why do people assume that the makers of this ‘doc-drama’ series have any interest in truth or justice ? Why do people assume that had the government allowed them to film here, that they would have any input into the content of the show or that the makers would in any way indicate anything positive about Bermuda ?

    It’s a part of a tv series called “Murder in Paradise”. People read ‘documentary’ and they assume fact and truth yet the series is actually referred to as a doc-drama, probably emphasis on drama. A TV series sole purpose is to attract viewers and the more sensational they make their stories, the more viewers they will get. It’s simply about making money for the network.

    This story is horrible, the outcome was horrible, there was severe incompetence by the judiciary. This has been covered multiple times. What is the purpose of enabling profiteers rehash it all with their eye on the ratings ?

    According to the above article Mr Middleton feels that “The fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter what happens to those two individuals it won’t bring Becky back.”. Surely making a “made for tv” episode is going to have even less of an effect ?

    Moreover, the film crew can still have a local crew take footage. I am sure a local person is capable of interviewing the intended participants. The fact that they are crying foul may have more to do with creating “hype” and publicity for their show.

    My sincere condolences to the family. I cannot even fathom their loss.

    This issue should not be a political football nor should it be about profit.

  27. Alvin Williams says:

    Too bad an opportunity has been missed to do a wide ranging examination of Bermuda’s justice system.The Midddleton murder case is not the only injustice missed. I have already mention the case of Mark Martin run over by a boat and no one has been brought to book. The Cox child run over and killed on a school cross walk and the person gets off on a legal technicality. The death of a Warwick gas station employee; again a legal technicality gets the person responsible off. We all know what happen in the Rebecca Middleton murder case; a panic a white girl; a visitor at that killed in a most brutal way. The rush to find someone guilty at all cost; the rush to put in place a court case and big mistakes made which resulted in a botch process and finally Bermuda’s legal system depended on it’s colonial arbiter which has the finally say and has deem that no one can be place before the court as a judge has already made a legal decision. Yes this is a missed opportunity not only for justice for a Canadian citizen; but justice for all those Bermudians who also have not receive justice from the Bermuda legal system?

  28. 1minute says:

    It is not an unsolved murder, as at least one Canadian news agency said. We know who did it, just that the police/prosecution made a deal with the devil and he got off. Making more shows about it will not bring her back and, due to the laws of the land, will not put him in jail.

  29. FEEL THE LOVE.. says:

    Rest Assured Rebecca Middleton, Justice Will Be Served. Peace Unto You And Yours.