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Gov’t postpones tabling of problematic media services bill


The Ministry of Justice has postponed the tabling of media service bill and criminal amendment bill before lawmakers, two bills that activists complained are aimed at criminalizing free speech in the country.

Abubacarr Tambadou was supposed to table to media services bill before lawmakers on Monday. It is unclear when the two bills will now be brought before lawmakers.

The Communications and Information Ministry drafted the media services bill with the help of Article 19 without the involvement of Gambia Press Union.

The Union complained that several clauses in both bills, including insult laws, are anti-free speech.

Meanwhile, the five bills the Justice Minister tabled before lawmakers were Gambia Anti-Corruption Bill, Public Order (Amendment) Bill, Information and Communication Amendment Bill, National Human Rights Commission Amendment Bill, Women’s Amendment of Discriminatory Laws Bill and Sexual Offences Amendment Bill.

The deliberations on the bills will be done on December 3. The lawmakers will forward the bills to various committees of the National Assembly for proper scrutiny in accordance with the new standing orders of the lawmaking body. The Committees have until 16 weeks to report to the plenary of the whole House.

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