Justice Ministry Withdraws Parental Insults Legislation in Draft Constitution

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia’s Justice Ministry announce on Saturday that  it will no longer present the proposed law that seeks to introduce the offence of parental insults in the criminal Offences bill which is captured in the country’s draft constitution that was released on Friday.
The ministry said the withdrawal decision is as a result of concerns expressed from several quarters regarding the objectives and the possible effects of the said provision.
“The Ministry wishes to inform the general public that the introduction of the said proposed law was simply intended to stem the rise of unwarranted abuse and/or intimidation of public officers who serve the public every day and these include civil servants, police officers, judicial officers, National Assembly members etc.”
It argued that contrary to some claims, the proposed law was neither intended to stifle freedom of expression nor to shield public officers from public scrutiny.
It however stated that it considered that this single legal provision on parental insults, which is only one among over four hundred other provisions in the revised criminal offences bill that it will be seeking to enact before the National Assembly, threatens to overshadow all the hard work invested in the process, the more fundamental and far reaching reforms of governance architecture in general and criminal justice landscape of the country, including enacting an ant-corruption commission bill, an access to information bill, a media service bill and a women ant-discrimination bill.

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