Numerous attacks on journalists by security personnel, individuals or groups associated to political parties are becoming and unbecoming and in what the Migration Reporters’ Association of The Gambia (MiRAG), considers a safety of journalists red flag ahead of the December 4, 2021 presidential race to State house.
On April 19, 2021 a Prison Warden physically attacked Journalist Yankuba Jallow, of Foroyaa Newspaper, in Serekunda, while he was covering a trial involving senior officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
After the proceedings, Mr. Jallow, decided to take a picture of the accused persons standing trial while being escorted by the prison wardens.
The warden then cornered Jallow, and ordered him to surrender his phone and stop taking photos of the accused persons.
The reporter refused the order and some prison wardens joined him and try to forcefully obtain his phone.
Remember, these security personnel could have been the people whom he would have run to, for protection in case the situation was out of hand.
In a recent incident, journalists- reporter Buba Gagigo, and cameraman Mustapha Kinteh, both of Kerr Fatou, an online platform also got physically attacked by Modou E. Njie, a photographer at the State House.
The young promising journalists were physically assaulted while covering President Barrow’s registering for his voter’s card on 2nd June 2021 at McCarthy square in Banjul.
In that regard, the Migration Reporters’ Association of The Gambia [MiRAG], therefore, condemns these seemingly unending attacks on journalists in line of duty; and calls on the police to ensure that journalists are protected in the course of their coverage of public events including the electoral process.
The police must also deal resolutely with all acts of election-related violence by arresting and ensuring the swift prosecution of the perpetrators.
We urge all individuals and groups especially political parties to educate their supporters to eschew violence in all forms, particularly against journalists, and appreciate the role of the media in the electoral process.
Ousman A. Marong,
Migration Reporters’ Association of the Gambia (MiRAG).
Ousman A. Marong
MiRAG Secretary General