GPU holds training of trainers on freedom of expression

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Gambia Press Union is holding a 16-day training of trainers programme for civil society organisations, journalists and government communication officers on freedom of expression and human rights.

Speaking at the opening ceremony held at the Djembe Hotel on Tuesday, Malick Jones, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information, said his ministry would continue to play their role in partnership with the GPU.

The right to speech is the most important right, he said, adding that the 1997 constitution grants the freedom of speech, assembly and association.

He said the training of trainers on freedom of expression has come at a time when journalists need to play their role in a conducive and democratic environment.

On behalf of his ministry, he congratulated GPU on its effort to complement the government’s effort on the drive to create an enabling landscape for the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression.

The society relies on journalists to report factually and accurately and to protect their sources. They also need to be responsible when reporting and have the legitimate right to non-interference in reporting in the public interest.

He concluded that the training would enable participants to be trainers themselves in using the modules of freedom of expression to benefit others.

For his part, the lead trainer, Gaye Sowe, said he was delighted to be chosen to coordinate the training on freedom of expression on The Gambia law.

He said looking at the international obligation it was a great initiative in promoting the rights of people.

The facilitator of the training, Saikou Jammeh, said the participants were selected on their roles in society and they are certain that after the training they would give back to others what they have learned.

He disclosed that the GPU got funding from the United Nations and the project was aimed at promoting an enabling environment for freedom of expression in The Gambia.

The objective was for legal reforms, and to sensitise the people on their right on freedom of expression. 

Author: Rose Zahra Gomez