The ECOWAS Community Court yesterday made a decision on a case between the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and the Republic of The Gambia.
It urged the Gambia to scrap all the bad media laws in its constitution.
The case was filed by FAJ as the leading representative body for journalists in Africa, and being the African Chapter of the International Federation of Journalists – the world’s largest organisation of journalists and four other Gambian journalists in exile.
The federation has been acting on behalf of Gambian journalists, and they have filed this case since the 7th July 2017.
Among many other things, Federation of the African Journalists decried the continued maintenance by The Gambia, in its criminal laws, of those provisions, which violate human rights of journalists.
Former reporter of The Independent Newspaper Lamin Fatty, for presidential spokesperson and journalist Fatou Camara, US-based journalist Fatou Jaw Manneh and Daily Observer’s Alhagie Jobe, with backing of the Federation, submitted that The Gambia has failed to provide a safe and conducive atmosphere for the practice of journalism, as it is required.
Under Jammeh’s regime, these laws had been used to arrest, detain, charge and prosecute journalists who were critical of the regime.