Journalists in Gambia appeal for fellow journalists
By Godfrey Olukya 26-9-2012
Journalists in Gambia have appealed to the government to drop charges against two fellow journalists.
Through their organization, The Gambia Press Union’ they have called on authorities to drop the charges against Babucarr Ceesay, first vice president of the Union and his colleague, Abubacarr Saidy khan.
The two were reportedly arrested on September 6th 2012 and charged in court with incitement of violence and conspiracy to commit felony.
‘We want the charges to be dropped because they do not hold water’ said Muhud Khald one of the journalists in Gambia.’ The two journalist never broke any law. They should not be tormented by the unrealistic charges.’
According to the Gambia Press Union the right to peaceful demonstration is enshrined under Section 25 sub-section 1 (d) of the Second Republican
Constitution and it states that every person shall have the right to freedom to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and without arms.
In a statement issued by the press union to the state, it said,’The right to free expression is an inviolable right enshrined under 25 sub-section 1 (a) of the Second Republican Constitution, which states that every person shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, which shall, include freedom of the press and other media.’
The journalists insist that their fellow journalists did not act outside the limits of the Constitutional Provisions and they never flouted the Public Order Act when they attempted to hold rallies.
They said in conclusion, It is in the interest of national reconciliation, human rights, democracy and the rule of law that the Police drop the charge against
the two journalists. The State has nothing to lose by dropping the charge against them.’
The state has not yet responded to their request.