Media Advisory NHRC 25022020
The National Human Rights Commission is pleased to inform the general public and all other stakeholders that it has succeeded in brokering a peaceful mediation between the Government of the Gambia and the Gambia Press Union with regards to the closure of the two private radio stations namely Home Digital FM and King FM that were suspended from operating following the events of 26th January 2020. After a two hour closed door mediation talk within the premises of the Commission presided over by the Chairman of the NHRC, Mr. Emmanuel Joof, and attended by the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou, the Honorable Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Mr. Ebrima Sillah, representatives of the Gambia Press Union led by the Union President Sheriff Bojang Jnr and the Commissioners and Staff of the National Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, speaking on behalf of the Government, agreed to: 1. lift the suspension on Home Digital FM and King FM and allow them to resume operation with immediate effect; 2. drop all criminal charges against the leadership of the said radio stations. This engagement is part of trhe Commission’s broader mandate of promoting and protection human rights, advising the Government and monitoring compliance with human rights norms and principles and the rule of law as per Section 12 of the National Human Rights Commission Act 2017. The Chairman of the Commission thanked the two Ministers for attending the mediation and agreeing to reopen the two private radio stations and drop all criminal charges against the journalists who were arrested. He reiterated the obligation of the State to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, especially the freedom of press which should be sacrosanct if we are to build and nurture a culture of human rights in the country. The Chairman encouraged the media practitioners to always adhere to the highest ethical standards and professionalism in their work. While today's outcome is a collective victory for everyone interested in the promotion and protection of human rights, it is the beginning of greater engagements and collaboration with all stakeholders in our quest to become, once again, that beacon of human rights and good governance in Africa.