The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns the assault of three journalists by members of two youth groups affiliated to Gambian President Adama Barrow and calls on the office of the President to punish the culprits.
Ebrahim Jambang of The Gambia Talent Promotion Media, Sally Jobe of Kerr Fatou, and Landing Ceesay of Paradise FM, who were covering the “Meet the People Tour” of President Barrow, were attacked on November 21, 2019 by members of the Barrow Youth Movement and Barrow Fans Club. The assailants also destroyed the cameras of Ebrahim Jambang and Landing Cessay.
“I was only filming the angry youth crowd who were complaining about lack of transportation to follow the president after paying their own fares. Then one individual from Barrow Youth Movement, snatched my camera and destroyed it,” said Jambang.
Sally Jobe says she was punched in the chest by a man identified as a translator of one of the Ministers accompanying the President.
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The Gambia Press Union, MFWA’s partner organisation in Gambia, has engaged the Office of the President over the incident.
“When we first got the news, I reached out to the Director of Press and Public Relations at the Office of the President, and the Spokesperson of the government to express our concerns to them. They both expressed regret over the incident and also apologised on behalf of the presidency,” GPU President, Sheriff Bojang Jr, revealed in a statement issued shortly after the incident.
Bojang Jr said the Union “is disturbed by this and is worried about the safety of journalists covering the tour.”
The MFWA shares the concern of the GPU over the safety of journalists covering the presidential tour and urges those in charge of the President’s media protocol to call the unruly youth group to order and ensure that measures are taken to protect the accompanying media from attacks.