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Showing posts with the label Press Release

Release | GPU Welcomes Swiss Court Judgement On Ousman Sonko

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        GPU Welcomes Sentencing of Ousman Sonko Over Torture of Journalists  (Banjul, 15 May, 2024) - The Gambia Press Union (GPU) welcomes today’s verdict and sentencing of former Interior Minister Ousman Sonko in Switzerland to a 20-year prison term for crimes against humanity.  The Swiss Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona found Sonko guilty of multiple counts of “intentional homicide, torture and false imprisonment, as well as crimes against humanity”, on Wednesday.  Sonko, who earlier denied the charges, was sentenced to a 20-year jail term (minus approximately 7 years already served in custody). He will also be expelled from Switzerland. The Court found Ousman Sonko guilty of the killing of a perceived political opponent in 2000; of torture and illegal detention in connection with a coup plot in March 2006; of the killing of a politician in 2011 and of deprivations of liberty as well as acts of torture - including one killing - of peaceful demonstrators in 2016.  He has been ord

Ful text: President Barrow’s Eid Message

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  Fellow Gambians, at home and abroad,  Friends and Residents of The Gambia, Once again, we devote thanks and praise to Allah for living to witness another Eid-ul-Fitr.  With this gift of life and other Divine mercies in mind, the moment should encourage us to remember and pray for the sick and seek Allah's forgiveness and mercy for those we lost during the year.  Because Eid-ul-Fitr brings joy and renewed faith, it is an occasion to express gratitude for completing the spiritual duty of fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan. In various ways, Ramadan comes with spiritual and moral lessons for our general wellbeing. It is a period that reminds us of our duty to support the less privileged, while legally enjoying the bounties bestowed upon us.  This includes those struck by calamities, such as hunger, unrest, and natural disasters.  Fellow Citizens,  As we prepare to feast tomorrow, we must not forget that there are many ongoing conflicts and wars in various parts of the world, le

Release | GSIC Declaration (FATWA) On The Ruling On Female Circumcision In Islam

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  Amid the growing debate over FGM/C, the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council Renewed Its Support And Issued A Declaration On The Ruling On Female Circumcision In Islam. Below reads the full release. Release “The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) is pleased to issue a fatwa to all Muslims in  The Gambia regarding the legality of female circumcision. In this regard, the GSIC would  like to clarify that female circumcision is not a merely inherited custom as falsely claimed  by those who are clueless about Islamic law. Rather, it is one of the virtues of Islam and  among the Sunnah practices dictated by the Messenger of Allah, Peace be Upon Him, who  said: “Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra,” of which he mentioned circumcision. The legitimacy of female circumcision has been proven in several established hadiths on  the authority of the Prophet; peace be upon him. Therefore, Muslim jurists agreed on its  legality. Some jurists have even argued that female circumcision is obli

Release | open letter calling for bold action on existential threats

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    Release Over 100 leading figures led by members of The Elders and the Future of Life Institute, have issued an open letter calling on world leaders to take a bold new approach to address ‘catastrophic’ risks to humanity. The letter states that ‘long-view leadership’ is needed to tackle the ongoing impact and escalating risks of the climate and nature crisis, pandemics, nuclear weapons, and ungoverned AI. It also illustrates that millions of lives and livelihoods are already impacted by these threats and world leaders’ inaction and failure to cooperate will drive humanity toward ‘greater catastrophe’.  The Elders, including Mary Robinson, Ban Ki-moon, Graça Machel, Juan Manuel Santos, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, together with the president of the Future of Life Institute, Max Tegmark, have been joined by former leaders, Nobel Laureates, scientific experts, youth activists, business leaders, philanthropists and influential figures from across public life to urge decision-makers to embrace

GPU Urges Police to Drop Charges Against Madi Jobarteh

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  The Gambia Press Union (GPU) is calling on the Gambia Police Force (GPF) to drop all charges against Madi Jobarteh, one of the country’s leading human rights activists. Madi is charged with “seditious intention”, “false publication and broadcasting”, and “incitement to violence” following his arrest, detention and subsequent release on police bail last month. The charges are believed to have stemmed from unspecified social media comments he made last month in reaction to the arbitrary arrests and detention of an online media talk show host whose rights were violated by the police, and a series of comments by President Adama Barrow directed at media houses, activists and the opposition that were seen to threaten press freedom, freedom of expression, and Gambia’s fledgling democracy. He has yet to appear in court, and his bail has been extended to 23rd November, 2023. The police are also holding onto his mobile phone since his arrest on 9th October following reports of surveillance by

Release | UDP CONDEMNS GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN SMEAR CAMPAIGN

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Release       The United Democratic Party condemns in strongest possible terms the outrageous allegations that the Government Spokesman made during his interview with ‘Coffee Time with Peter Gomez’ on 14th September2023. In his interview he falsely alleged that the suspect in this heinous crime is associated with the UDP and that suspect is an employee of the Brikama Area Council which the Brikama Area Council has publicly rebutted. UDP believes that it is reckless and dangerous for the Government Spokesman to comment on an ongoing criminal investigation because this may lead him to make false and or misleading statements that will complicate the work of law enforcement officers Secondly the Inspector General of Police has the legal mandate to brief the public, if necessary, on any ongoing investigation without compromising sources and methods or divulging sensitive or classified information to the public.  In this regard UDP urges the IGP to call on Government officials particularly t

Release| ECOWAS Court of Justice Rules in Favor of Victim of Enforced Disappearance against The Gambian Government

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  PRESS RELEASE The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice 5 July 2023, issued a landmark decision in the case of the enforced disappearance of Saul Ndow during the regime of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.  The ECOWAS Court found that the Republic of The Gambia violated the right to life and failed to investigate and prosecute those responsible in a timely manner. The ECOWAS Court also called on the Gambian Government to implement the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) and ordered to submit, within six (6) months of notification of its decision, a report, among others, on the status of the TRRC recommendations. With legal support from the Institute of Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), Nana-Jo Ndow, assisted by The African Network against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances (ANEKED), had been pushing for the Republic of The Gambia to take up its responsibilities for the human ri

Release| Transport Fares To Increase Friday

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          Omar Ceesay, Transport Union President By Sheriff Saidykhan The Gambia Transport Union (GTU) has said in its recent press release that the transport fares will be increase from all the official routes across the country effective Friday, 20th January 2023.  Below reads the full statements: “The General Transport Union wishes to inform the public that, following a series of consultations with the government through the Ministry of Transport Works and Infrastructure and relevant stakeholders has reached an agreement to increase the Transport fares for all the official routes across the country effective 20th January 2023.  The General Transport Union wishes to further inform all its members, commercial drivers, and commercial vehicle owners that, an agreement has been made between the Union, Government and other stakeholders in connection to the implementation of the routes licensing scheme within the Greater Banjul Area and West Coast Region.  In this regard, we are calling on

Release| ECOWAS Condemns Foiled Coup in The Gambia

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  ECOWAS CONDEMNS COUP PLOT IN THE GAMBIA The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) has received with utter dismay and shock the news of an attempted coup in the Gambia.  ECOWAS Commission strongly condemns the attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of the Gambia and underscores ECOWAS total rejection of all unconstitutional change of government in any member State. ECOWAS Commission salutes the leadership and personnel of the Gambia security services for their adherence to their constitutional role and for foiling this illegal plot. ECOWAS Commission stands firmly by the democratically elected government of the Gambia and once again reiterates its total condemnation of the attempted coup plot. Abuja, 21 December 2022

Release| The Gambian Environmentalist And Executive Director Of GANB Fired

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Modou Sowe The Gambian environmentalist and Executive Director of the Gambia Association for Nature and Biodiversity Modou Sowe has been fired 10 days after he left for COP 15 Part 2 in Canada. The decision was made in a Board Meeting and announced in a Press Conference by the Chairperson of the Board of Directors.  According to the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of GANB Mrs Fatou Jallow, the decision was made at a Board Meeting. Speaking to the press, Mrs Jallow said this is one of the most difficult decisions of the institution because Modou is irreplaceable, however, the decision is made to protect the institution’s reputation as its funds and partners are not happy with the present role of the Executive Director in protecting the Monkey Park at Bijilo.  We have engaged him in dialogues to desist away from such activities but his commitment to the protection of nature is beyond our control, however, we as an institution need to protect our source of funding for sustainability

Release| Migration Activist Decries the Inhumane Treatment of Migrants, Reminds African Leaders to Emulate Ghana's President

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  Yahya Sonko      OUR AFRICAN HEAD OF STATES SHOULD START TO BLAME EUROPEAN UNION INSTEAD OF THEIR CITIZENS WHO ARE TAKING IRREGULAR MIGRATION TO LOOK FOR BASIC HUMAN NEEDS .  Reports from survivors relayed to IOM indicate that at least 252 people died during alleged forced expulsions by European authorities, also known as pushbacks, since 2021.Beyond a structural failure to provide adequate safe pathways, Missing Migrants Project records show that many of the deaths on migratory routes to destination countries in Europe could have been prevented by prompt and effective assistance to migrants in distress. As a Gambian German base migration activist, I am calling on my Government and other African heads to emulate Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who in 2018 has expressed deep concerns over the cold-hearted treatment of African migrants in Europe.Ghanaian President did not mince words when he criticised the inhumane and abusive treatment of African migrants in Europe. He

Release| GPU Statement On Crimes Against Journalists and Impunity

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  International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists Fajara, Gambia, November 2, 2022: Today, as we mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes committed against Journalists. The Gambia Press Union join calls by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and 600,000 media professionals from 187 trade unions and associations in more than 140 countries worldwide, for governments, journalists and media groups to support the adoption of a UN Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists and Other Media Professionals. In order to “Break the Cycle of Impunity”, the Gambia Press Union (GPU) agrees that more safeguards and guarantees must be implemented beyond the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which has been unable to deliver the “free and safe environment for journalists and media workers” it promised, according to the IFJ. In the Gambia and elsewhere around the world, journalists continue to be

GPU Urges Gambia Government to Expedite Media Law Reforms

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  Muhammed S. Bah, GPU President Fajara, 3 May, 2022 – Every year, 3 rd May is observed as a day to remind governments and other stakeholders of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is a day for media workers globally to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics. The day is also set aside to support media that are oftentimes targets of violation and abuse.    This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Journalism under digital siege,” spotlights the multiple ways in which journalism is endangered by surveillance and digitally-mediated attacks on journalists, and the consequences of all this on public trust in digital communications. The theme also looks at how big data collection and Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacts journalism, freedom of expression and privacy, and offers an opportunity to discuss and deal with digital inspired surveillance, trolls and privacy violations against journalists and their sources.   In the context of the press free