Minister Demba Jawo made the remarks in a solidarity message on world Press Freedom Day. Read below Mr Jawo’s statement in full:
Today, May 3, 2018 on World Press Freedom Day, The Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure stands in solidarity with all Gambian journalists, the Gambia Press Union and all its affiliates.
MOICI would also use this opportunity to stand in solidarity with the family of the late veteran journalist Deyda Hydara, the family of Chief Ebrima Manneh and other journalists and media workers who were victims of state sponsored abuses, violations of human rights and excesses of State power.
On this 25th anniversary of World press Freedom Day, we are pleased to note that The Gambia has gained 22 points on the Reporters Sans Frontiers World Press Freedom Index; and that during the year 2017 there were zero recorded abuses to the rights of journalists in The Gambia.
These positive developments have been registered, as the Government of The Gambia is aware that “New Gambia” will have no meaning when the media is oppressed and information suppressed.
The new trend of a more favorable media ranking is set to improve as the pattern goes in line with our vision to creating the enabling legal environment for the protection of journalists, media workers and media freedoms.
This Government has also started implementing decisions of the ECOWAS Community Court concerning journalists and is working towards the implementation of instructions on media law reforms.
We have been quite open, transparent and consultative about these processes and we will continue to demonstrate the political will to ensure media reforms in line with international standards.
On this day, MOICI would also reiterate its commitment to the Gambia Press Union and other media actors that beyond our work on media law reforms we will also continue to engage on:
· putting in place of a self-regulatory mechanism;
· the framework for the working conditions of Gambian journalists and media workers;
· engage on media literacy and continue to push for respect for human rights and freedom of expression; advocate that journalists remain at the forefront of combatting the dissemination of misleading information or disinformation; and
· support policies that seek to address gender bias and harassment particularly against women in the media
Demba Ali Jawo
Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure
Spokesperson of The Government of The Gambia