Gambia Press Union’s (GPU) Legal Position Paper on the Media Reforms is now set
for submission to the government of The Gambia following its validation on
The validation, held at the Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi, was attended by representatives from Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Ministry of Justice, broadcasters and publishers association as well other journalist associations.
In his welcoming remarks, the treasurer of GPU Lamin Jahateh, said the day marks the climax of events which started since the coming in to office of the new government and the process hastened after the Justice Ministry’s announcement of setting up of a constitutional review commission to work on a new constitution for The Gambia.
The announcement according to Jahateh, presented an opportunity for the GPU to make sure that not only the new constitution has progressive laws on freedom of expression and press freedom, but also to make sure that the entire gamut of laws in the country that have any bearing on the media and the freedom of expression are comprehensively reviewed.
He said the legal paper examines The 1997 Constitution of The Gambia especially those draconian laws which are hindering the advancement of the media in the country.
“The legal position paper examines the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia, and other legislations including the Information and Communications Act, the Criminal Code, the Newspaper and Broadcasting Stations Act, the GRTS Act, the Evidence Act”, he said. “It also looks at international treaties and conventions and other instruments binding on The Gambia that affect the media and freedom of speech and expression”.
Jahateh said the document will be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Justice for consideration in the ongoing media law reforms process.
Delivering a statement on behalf of the Minister of Justice Bafou Jeng said, the government of The Gambia under the new dispensation is committed to the creation of a media friendly environment, be void of harassment and intimidation of media practitioners in clear recognition to freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.
Rashweat Mukunda of International Media Support said The Gambia is a unique example that governments can take a lead in media reforms and other democratic issues. He said The Gambia will be a case study for Africa in the future and that other countries should emulate her.