Gambia ALERT: National Assembly Speaker bars journalist from Parliament

The Speaker of the Gambian National Assembly, Elizabeth Reiner, prevented the independent media from covering procedures of the Gambian Parliament.

Two reporters, Isatou Bittaye and Baboucarr Senghore of the Banjul-based Foroyaa and Point newspapers respectively, were asked by the Clerk of Parliament, one Ceesay, on the orders of Mrs. Reiner, to leave the session as it was not meant for media coverage.

The Speaker had during the session discovered on strolling down the Parliament gallery that, no reporters from the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), the state media, were present to cover the proceedings.

The Speaker walked back to her chambers and called Ceesay who later asked the reporters to disclose their media outlets. On learning that they were from the independent Foroyaa and Point newspapers, Ceesay then told them that the Speaker said the session was being held in camera and had ordered that they leave.

The Speaker’s action prompted some MPs to grumble about the presence of the journalists who were then barred from the session. The reporters later found out that the session was not a closed-door one. It had to do with the Greater Banjul Area electricity project.

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