Demba Jawo, a veteran journalist who returned to The Gambia last month has been sworn-in as the West African nation’s Information Minister.
Jawo, former head of the country’s press union has been living in neighboring Senegal for 10 years. His friend and longtime colleague, Deyda Hydara was killed in 2004.
Gambian authorities have arrested a soldier, Malick Jatta, allegedly part of a special paramilitary hit squad that carried out the orders to murder Mr. Hydara.
Jawo’s appointment came at a time when the first assault on a journalist was recorded. Kebba Jeffang of the local Foroyaa Newspaper was attacked by government supporters after a press conference by three ministers.
The press union wants those responsible to be held accountable and urged President Adama Barrow, who pledged press freedom, to translate his commitments into action.
There is no doubt that Jawo will be supporting the press union petition in the Supreme Court for the colonial old sedition and defamation laws used by Gambian authorities to prosecute journalist and force them into self-censorship to be ruled as constitutional.