20th March 2019: The Gambia Press Union has learnt with regret the unfortunate
incident between Mr. Sheriff Bojang Jr. the president of the Union and Fatu
Network editor, Lamin Baba Njie, during news coverage of proceedings at the
Supreme Court in Banjul on Friday, March 15, 2019.
The Union appreciates the personal apology promptly issued by Mr. Bojang Jr., who has responsibly taken responsibility for his actions. We therefore wish to join our president to express our unreserved apologies to Mr. Njie and Fatu Network.
The Union recognises and stands to defend the fundamental right of every journalist to gather news and information. We encourage and commend Fatu Network for their vital contribution to strengthening the country’s democracy.
The GPU Secretary General, Mr. Saikou Jammeh, said: “An attack on a journalist, by anyone, anywhere, is unacceptable. The fact that this attack came from someone entrusted by Gambian journalists to champion the defence of their rights makes it even more regrettable and unfortunate.
“However, the Union’s faith in Mr. Bojang remains strong. We are encouraged by his leadership qualities as displayed in his personal apology that he promptly issued and his cooperation with the GPU secretariat and Executive Committee towards addressing this matter.”
Since Friday, the GPU has made its position known to the parties concerned that the conduct of Mr. Bojang Jr. was inappropriate and that the Union stands in solidarity with Mr. Njie and Fatu Network.
However, since it is an internal media matter, the Union has opened channels of communication and has been engaging with the parties concerned with a view to addressing the issue through the institution’s internal mechanisms. The union remains committed to that process and counts on the cooperation of everyone, particularly Mr. Bojang Jr. and Mr. Njie.
In this vein, the GPU leadership wishes to assure everyone, particularly media professionals and press freedom advocates that the Union remains committed towards the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of media professionals.