The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations has learnt with utter disappointment on the memo issued by the state broadcaster GRTS’ Director on the 12th of September, 2022 on instruction to stop coverage of industrial actions of organizations thereby suppressing their legitimate grievances.
GRTS’ memo is a threat to human rights, democracy and good governance. GRTS is a public institution that is obliged to amplify the voices of fall Gambians and every citizen is entitled to be heard. Industrial action is lawful, and a democratic right guaranteed by the Constitution, the Labor Act, International Labor Organizations, Conventions and other International instruments that the Gambia has ratified. Refusal for the public or certain categories of the public from the use of state resources because of their different viewpoints is a violation of the citizen’s constitutional right and thereby, given way to authoritarian rule and undermining democracy and freedom of expression.
The Director General’s memo is an affront to stifle dissent and divergent opinion, and therefore, violate section 208 of the 1997 Constitution which states “All state owned newspapers, journals, radio and television shall afford fair opportunities and facilities for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinion.”
Based on the above provision of the Constitution, the action of GRTS’ Director General Malick Jeng is unethical and grossly irresponsible of a State Broadcaster.
We condemned this action in the strongest possible terms, and therefore call upon him to withdraw the memo. We are against any action that would violate the Human Rights of citizens in the Gambia and this statement clearly did that.
Source: The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations, 15th September, 2022