GPU Welcomes Ecowas Court Ruling on Gambia Anti-free Speech Laws
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) welcomes the ruling made by the Abuja-based Ecowas Court of Justice on Wednesday February 14, on the legality of the laws of sedition, criminal defamation, false publication on the internet and false publication and broadcasting.
In 2015, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) along with four Gambian exiled journalists, namely Fatou Camara, Lamin Fatty, Alagie Jobe and Fatou Jaw Manneh, filed a suit against the Gambia government at the sub-regional court.
The complainants, in their prayers, sought an order from the court to condemn the Gambia’s criminalisation of speech through sedition, false news and defamation laws. Following three years of deliberations, the Ecowas Community Court, in its ruling, ordered the Gambia government to repeal or amend the said laws.
The court held that the enforcement of these anti-free speech laws is a violation of freedom of expression and press freedom and are not in line with regional and international standards of freedom of expression.
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