Saturday, December 4, 2021

Will The Oppressive Media Laws Be Repealed During This Last Session Of Parliament?

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The budget session of the National Assembly will resume on Monday. This is expected to be the last session of the National Assembly before the presidential election.

The end of the five-year term of President Barrow is just round the corner but the oppressive media laws are still retained in the law books of The Gambia, contrary to the promise he made in his 2016 manifesto that they will be repealed within six months.

The law on sedition as it relates to the president attracts a minimum fine of 50,000 dalasis and a maximum fine of 250,000 dalasis and/or imprisonment for a minimum period of one year. The law on criminal libel also attracts the same penalties. A decision of the Ecowas Court of Justice in 2018 that these laws be repealed has been treated with disregard.

National security agencies can monitor, intercept and store communications for surveillance purposes without a court order.  

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