EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- The Gambia Press Union (GPU) and Kerr Fatou have condemned in the strongest terms the physical assault meted out to the online platform’s news crew – reporter Buba Gagigo and cameraman Mustapha Kinteh by Modou E. Njie, a photographer at State House.
The incident is said to have happened earlier on Wednesday, while they were covering the issuing of a voters’ card to President Barrow at McCarthy Square in Banjul.
“Njie first attacked Buba and then Mustapha when the latter attempted to rescue the former from his wrath,” Kerr Fatou said in a statement.
“While we sympathise with them for the unjust and inhumane act by a staff of the most high profile office of the land, we also assure them of our full support to secure justice,” the statement attributed to Fatou Touray, CEO of Kerr Fatou said.
The medium, according to the dispatch, is deeply disappointed that for the second time its staff suffered physical assault at presidential events by personnel at his service without his condemnation.
“The first incident occurred in Lamin Koto in 2019 during ‘meet the people tour’ by the President when our reporter Sally Jobe was physically assaulted by a member of Barrow Youth Movement and one of the interpreters in the said tour,” it noted.
While assuring that a complaint will be lodged at the police headquarters in Banjul, it equally urged the police to ensure that justice is served without delay as the assault is unjustifiable.
Meanwhile, the President of GPU, Sheriff Bojang Jr said the union is deeply saddened and worried by the assault on Gagigo.
“This is unwarranted, unacceptable and a direct assault on press freedom,” he said, adding, “This sort of attacks on journalists must stop, and in this case, we want the perpetrator punished to deter him and others who have no regard for the rights of journalists from committing similar violations.”
The latest assault, according to GPU, rekindles the bad and unacceptable memories of similar attacks on journalists with impunity by people close to the State House during the dictatorship.
“President Barrow’s accusation of journalists of biased and unfavourable coverage have the potential of fanning his supporters and militants against the media,” the union of journalists said.
The GPU wishes to reiterate that it is the primary obligation of the State, its agents and everyone to protect and respect media freedom and independence as journalists execute their watchdog function, it emphasized.
“Assaulting journalists in their line of duty is inexcusable, intolerable and unacceptable.”