By Binta Jaiteh
The President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), Muhammed .S. Bah, has called on President AdamaBarrow to respect the fundamental rights and liberties enshrined in the Gambian Constitution and international human rights instruments.
Reacting to the president’s recent attack on the media, Bah said President Barrow’s actions and statements are deeply troubling, demanding immediate attention.
“In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable escalation in President Barrow’s attack on the media and freedom of expression. Journalists and media outlets and some members of the public have faced intimidation, and harassment both online and offline. This assault on the free press and freedom of expression is not only detrimental to the principles of democracy but also undermines the hard-fought progress that The Gambia has made in recent years,” the GPU President stated.
He stressed that as advocates for democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression, GPU cannot remain silent in the face of these actions, adding it is acollective responsibility to speak out.
“We should hold press conferences and publicly condemn President Barrow’s rhetoric against the media and freedom of expression in general as well as remind the President of his duties and obligation to the Gambian people. We should share information about the situation in The Gambia with our networks and communities, both nationally and internationally,” Bah stressed.
The GPU president stated that they should mobilize international support and reach out to international organizations, diplomatic missions, and human rights bodies to bring attention to the deteriorating situation in The Gambia, and seek their support in pressuring the government to respect democratic principles.
Bah asserted that through collective action, a clear message can be sent to President Adama Barrow.
“The international community and civil society are watching and will not tolerate attacks on democracy, freedom of expression, and press freedom in The Gambia. I, therefore, urge all civil society actors to come together and take the following actions,particularly TANGO,” he stressed.