GPU welcomes release of journalists, calls for re-opening of radio stations

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: The Gambia Press Union (GPU) said it welcomes the release of four journalists who were arrested and detained by the police while covering an anti-government protest organised by pressure group, 3 Years Jotna, on Sunday.

Pa Modou Bojang of Home Digital FM and Gibbi Jallow, Ebrima Jallow and Madiou Jallow all of King FM were arrested on Sunday and spent two nights in communicado – without access to family or legal representation – at various police cells.

Dozens were arrested by police in the Sunday demo, including executive members of the 3 Years Jotna that has been asking president Adama Barrow to respect the three years agreement with the Coalition 2016 political leaders and step down.

The two radio managers and two reporters are granted police bail this afternoon after more than five hours of negotiations between the GPU and the government authorities.

Two radio stations – King FM and Home Digital FM – still remain shut down after the government claim that they were inciting violence during the Sunday protest.  Armed personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) from the Gambia Police Force (GPF) are stationed at the premises of radio stations, restricting access by staff.

President, Sheriff Bojang Jr. said: “The continuous closure of the two radio stations is an attack on press freedom and a blatant disregard for the rule of law by the government.”

The Union called on the Inspector General of the Police (IGP) to immediately withdraw his men from the illegal occupation of the media outlets. We also renew our call for the government to lift the unlawful ban on the radio stations.

“To the Gambia media, we appreciate your sense of solidarity and urge you to remain steadfast in the exercise of your constitutional duty to inform the public and to hold the government accountable to the public.”

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