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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Press union condemns assault on journalists


By Alagie Manneh

The Gambia Press Union has denounced attacks on two journalists covering the swearing-in ceremony of Banjul Mayor Rohey Lowe yesterday.

Malick B Cham of the online platform Jamaanoo, and Ousman Joof of Gambian Talents TV were reportedly slapped, beaten and injured by supporters believed to be from the NPP.

The matter has been reported to police with both journalists threatening legal action against their assailants.

In a statement, the union said the attack on the journalists came after a melee broke with the two journalists attempting to capture it on video.

GPU head Muhammed Bah said: “The GPU condemns the attacks on the journalists in the strongest terms and is dismayed by the unfortunate and never-ending trend of journalists being assaulted by political party supporters or at political events with impunity.”

He called on police to follow through with their investigations and to ensure that the attackers are brought to book.

The union said that not a single assault case on journalists – 15 – have ever been investigated from 2017 to 2022, blaming the police and political parties.

“The Gambia government must ensure that the safety of journalists, like that of other citizens and residents of The Gambia is made a top priority,” GPU secretary Modou Joof said. “In order to break from the brutal past, the government must be committed to ending impunity and to create a safer environment for the media to carry out its constitutional mandate without harassment, intimidation, and assaults.”

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