President Jammeh Lifts Ban on Taranga FM and The Standard Newspaper Whiles Daily News Remain Ban

Thursday, January 09, 2014

President Jammeh has announced the lifting of ban with immediate effects one local newspaper and a radio FM station on the eve of the new year as goodwill gesture whiles one still remains ban .

The lifting came after one year  four months when some plain cloth security services personals arbitrarily shut down the Gambian community radio station Taranga FM , and two other newspapers ; The Standard Newspaper,  and Daily News. 

Aired on the state broadcaster, GRTS, on New Year’s Eve, President Jammeh lifted the ban as his good will gesture for the new year’ 2014.

Both the two newspapers and the radio  station were shut at a time when the Gambia is seeing increasing violations of the right to freedom of expression.

The arbitrary closure according to some journalist is an undue interference in freedom of expression by the state and will deprive the Gambian public of their right to access to information, especially in local languages.

Taranga FM was shutdown on the night of 15 August  2012 whiles  The Standard, together with The Daily News received orders on Friday  14 September  the same year to immediately cease operations .

Located in Sinchu Alhagie village, southwest of the country’s capital Banjul, Taranga FM was first shut in 2011 after it was warned to stop a program that translated newspaper reports into local languages  the station was later  re-opened.

In this media-freedom restricted country, Taranga was the only private radio station that broadcast local news – both in English and local languages - to its audience a5t the time of the closure; something the public seemingly appreciate at the time of the closure.

It was a vital source of information for  most of the uneducated people  who rely on it for information.

The radio’s regular news programme of translating news published in the local newspapers  into local languages  attracts the public. The station serves as  alternative source of news to the state-owned radio, especially for The Gambia’s majority  who could not read and write English.

Both The Standard  and Daily News  all  privately-owned English-language newspapers have covered sensitive political issues, including the recent execution of nine death row inmates in TheGambia.

Author: Binta A.Bah
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