Aug 3, 2011, 1:53 PM
Following the conviction and sentence of six Gambian journalists: Pap Saine,
Below we reproduce the full text of the release:
The European Union has been closely following the trial of the six Gambian journalists accused of seditious and defamatory publications and has noted the verdict and sentences passed down on the journalists.
The EU is concerned by the heavy sentences handed down and the negative impact of these prosecutions on freedom of expression in The Gambia. The EU reiterates the views expressed in the local EU Presidency statement that was presented to the Gambian authorities on 26 June 2009.
The right to freedom of expression is fundamental to democracy and a fundamental freedom laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the African Charter on Human Rights and People's Rights, to which The Gambia is a State Party.
The EU urges The Gambia to take these concerns into consideration and to act in conformity with its international human rights and treaty obligations in considering any appeals