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Saturday, June 12, 2021

‘Retaining false news as defamation is hypocritical’

By Omar Bah

A senior lawyer of the Gambia Bar Association and former minister of Justice has said that The Gambia government’s intention to keep false information in the Constitution is hypocritical.
Lawyer Hawa Sisay-Sabally was speaking at stakeholders meeting on promoting access to information in The Gambia at a local hotel in Banjul.

“Yes, we are saying the new government has the will to ensure there is free access to information but to me, if the government wants to hold onto publication of false news as an act of defamation, then there is some degree of hypocrisy,” she said.

She said until the Supreme Court passes a decission on the matter, false news is something that the Government of The Gambia wants to hold on to.
“False news usually is used by the politicians. What is false? It could be subjective and as such the law is vague. But, the government is saying no, we want this,” she added.

She continued: “Even if the political will is there, I must say it is not 100%.”
Meanwhile, Almami Taal of the University of The Gambia said: “Looking at the first amendment of the American Constitution, it tells you that if you don’t have the government out of your way, you are going to have a problem in implementing some of these fundamental basic human rights.”
He said the issue of information should be completely private.

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