#Article (Archive)

The New Laws

Dec 16, 2008, 5:14 AM

We thank all those who sympathised with us as the obnoxious laws [the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2004 and the Newspaper Registration (Amendment) Act 2004] were enacted with a view to muzzling the independent media in this country.

Unanimity as we always say kills and we are proud that we belong to those who speak for the voiceless as provided for in the constitution of this country. Ours is our social responsibility role all the way without compromise and no amount of cajoling, intimidation or threats can change such a stance.

We want this country to progress and that can only become a reality if people are empowered by way of informing them truthfully, impartially, and independently. We do not believe in disinformation, but we do not also believe in freedom of information over the counter. We want a journalism based on the principles that people like Pulitzer invented when they were establishing modern journalism.

We see that Amadou Janneh has not heeded our advice to call it quits in the face of total disregard of his efforts by Cabinet. It is sad he didn't do as the German minister and David Blunket did. People in positions resign when they falter or have been disowned by the group they work with, for an idea or action in the course of their performance.

Talking about resignation, another guy that should have done so is Kofi Annan whose son Kodjo took UN contract money knowing fully well that his dad is the boss of the UN which belongs to the world and not their family. Kofi also knew very well his son worked for the programme under his leadership and yet did not caution him to protect the integrity of their name.

Coming back to the amendments, readers will understand that we will not divulge our line of defence as we did for the commission. Suffice it to say that we have mastered the dossier and are going to challenge these revised laws as soon as they are assented to. We have given notice for that to the hearing of the world at large.

ASPA Reacts

It took ASPA a very long time to react but they did in the end. As the Wollof say here is the mosque, whosoever can call out for prayers let him call for us to see whether people would respond. This is as simple as that. One thing that government can insist on to safeguard farmers' interests is that it must make clear that it will harshly punish whosoever fails to honour their commitments to the farmers.

Editor's Note

The late Deyda Hydara completed this article about , and was murdered about , in a drive-by shooting on the night of Thursday, 16 December 2004. It was first published on Monday, 10 January 2005. It is reproduced here as a tribute to the great man and to draw attention to the continued existence of the two "obnoxious laws".

"Where the press is free and everyone able to read all is safe."

-Thomas Jefferson