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NGO leader laments ‘suffering’ of journalists under Jammeh

Aug 22, 2017, 10:22 AM | Article By: Sanna Camara

“If there is any national institution that endured bitter suffering under Jammeh for 22 years, it is the members of the media Press Union,” civil society leader and director of the association of NGOs in The Gambia has said.

Mr Lamin Yarboe said he is “a life witness to this” and that he is fully aware of what the media was going through, which led to a lot of the practitioners fleeing the country for their safety.

He made these remarks at the end of a 16-day intensive training of trainers programme on freedom of expression yesterday.

“Those of the comrades who are outside of The Gambia for one reason or the other, you have to facilitate their return to contribute your quota to this development process. There is still room for improvement in the work you do; hence all hands should be on deck,” Mr Yarboe advised the participants.  

“There are those who would challenge you in playing your role to give out credible information, especially through the social media; do not relent. Do your duty to disallow distorted information about your country; make sure people have access to information in a timely manner so that we all move together in the new Gambia,” he added.

The 16-day training brought journalists, civil society actors and communication officers from government to undergo a four-week module.

Local and international experts trained the participants with four modules who will further train others from the state and non-state actors, security and grassroots people on freedom of expression.  

Namory Trawally, training coordinator and vice president of the union, said the training targeted 15 participants, with funding from the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF).

“Freedom of Expression is one of the most important components of the democratic dispensation of The Gambia. This is why the project is earmarked to run for two years on freedom of expression in The Gambia,” he said.