Mr Saikou Jammeh who spoke yesterday to newsmen at the union’s headquarters in Kanifing against the backdrop of the upcoming World Press Freedom Day slated for Sunday, May 3, said the forum could serve as an important platform in softening the rough edges of the relationship.
He said: “We are open to dialogue for media reforms in the country. We know the government for example, has a lot of misconception about the media in the country. And in the media too, there is a way we think about the government. So what we want to do is go into dialogue. But we are going to do so with respect. We are going to do so with open mind. If we are able to bring the government and the media to the table, there are lots of possibilities.
“The representation, we expect to be very large. We are going to have a good representation from the diplomatic corps. We are also expecting that the government representatives especially the ministries and information service offices will be available at the event. For the first time too, we are hopeful that the special rapporteur on freedom of expression of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights will also be available. We will have representation from the Unesco office which is our partner in this event and we are also expecting a representative from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Dakar.”
“When we met the minister [for Information] that’s what we told him, we told him that we want to move on. But these things; the issue of Deyda, is unresolved. The issue of Chief Manneh, is still not solved. The closure of media houses and even the torture case of Musa Saidykhan, we told him these are things that are going to remain on our agenda and we are not doing this because of those people, we are doing these things because we doing it for us, for journalism. Because it is our conviction that these people, Deyda was murdered because he was a journalist. Chief Manneh disappeared because he was a journalist. And I’m one today. If nothing is done about their case, I can also disappear because I’m practising journalism. And there is no justification for that, so it will remain on our agenda.”]]>