Draconian, oppressive laws will be history: Justice Minister

Monday, March 05, 2018

The attorney general and the minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou said draconian and oppressive laws will in the not too distant future be a thing of the past.

These remarks were made by Bafou Jeng in a statement read on behalf of the minster at The Gambia Press Union’s validation of the legal position paper on media reforms on Friday at Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi.

The minister said it is a common knowledge that the previous regime exhibited gross hostility to media practitioners evidenced by numerous legislations to suppress the freedom of expression and its treatment of journalists.

Ba Tambadou, however, said in recognition of the democratic right to freedom of expression, the government of The Gambia under the stewardship of President Barrow wishes to ensure that all laws relating to freedom of expression are consistent with the constitution and international best practices.

“I can assure you that draconian and oppressive laws will in not too distant future be a thing of the past. They will be repealed and not find expression in our new democratic dispensation,” he said. “All existing laws seeking to restrain and inhibit the fundamental rights of the people to free expression shall be repealed and replaced with appropriate legislation that facilitates the right of expression in a democratic society.”

He expressed his delight that the GPU has carried out a comprehensive review of some aspects of media laws and regulations with a view to ensuring their compliance with democratic principles and international standards.

He highlighted the importance of the press and said it must serve a platform for different opinions.

“As we move towards the realisation of a new constitution for The Gambia, the press must continue to serve as platform for multiplicity of opinions, comments and voices of Gambians for proposals in accordance with our national values to ensure a constitution that is reflective of the wishes of and aspirations of all Gambians,” the Justice minister said.

Author: Sankulleh Gibril Janko
Source: Picture: Justice Abubacarr Tambadou