‘Journalists Are Not Enemies Of The People’

The Secretary General of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), Saikou Jammeh, has Tuesday used the platform of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to remind Gambians that journalists are not the enemies of the people.

Saikou Jammeh’s closing remarks come in the wake of the latest attack on journalists mounted Monday by supporters of the former governing party against Fatunetwork and Radio France International (RFI) media crew at the High Court in Banjul.

“The enemies of the people are those trying to supplant freedom with fear,” he said as he took the stand for the second time at the ongoing Six Session of the TRRC.

Over the past two decades, journalists went through arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings. Since the advent of the new political dispensation, media practitioners are enjoying unprecedented freedom. However, they are increasingly confronted with violence emanating from political organizations.

The Secretary General of the GPU said when an attack is made on journalist, it is signaling that it aims at curtailing the freedom of every individual in society.

Information gathered by this medium has it that this is the fourth time supporters of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) are at loggerheads with the media.

“Press freedom became the first casualty of the Jammeh regime,” GPU’s Saikou Jammeh told the TRRC.

Consequently, he said, Gambia was dragged into the gutter as attacks on civil liberties, looting of public funds, underdevelopment became the order of the day.

“Because the media was coerced to failing to hold government accountable,” he voiced out.

The tiny West African nation is transitioning from dictatorship to democracy. The ability of journalists to overcome setbacks and difficulties will inexorably help shape the country’s future…


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