The Gambia Press Union(GPU) has issued statement on the recent incident between Sheriff Bojang and Lamin Njie.

It states that, “The Gambia Press Union has learnt with regret the unfortunate incident between Mr Sheriff Bojang Jr who happens to be the president of the Union and Fatu Network editor, Lamin Baba Njie”. It further stated that the incident occurs during news coverage of proceedings at the Supreme Court in Banjul on Friday, March 15, 2019.

The incident attracted comments on various social media platform by Gambians in the country and diaspora.  However the GPU president made a personal apology which was shared on his personal Facebook timeline.

The statement went on to  state that The Union appreciates the personal apology promptly issued by Mr Bojang Jr., who has taken responsibility for his actions. It added that “We therefore wish to join our president to express our unreserved apologies to Mr Njie and Fatu Network.

“The Union recognizes and stands to defend the fundamental right of every journalist to gather news and information’’. In conclusion “We encourage and commend Fatu Network for their vital contribution to strengthening the country’s democracy.”

The GPU Secretary General, Mr Saikou Jammeh, said: “An attack on a journalist, by anyone, anywhere, is unacceptable.  The fact that this attack came from someone entrusted by Gambian journalists to champion the defence of their rights makes it even more regrettable and unfortunate.

“However, the Union’s faith in Mr Bojang remains strong.  We are encouraged by his leadership qualities as displayed in his personal apology that he promptly issued and his cooperation with the GPU secretariat and Executive Committee towards addressing this matter.”

Since Friday, the GPU made its position known to the parties concerned that the conduct of Mr Bojang Jr was inappropriate and that the Union stands in solidarity with Mr Njie and Fatu Network.

However, since it is an internal media matter, the Union has opened channels of communication and has been engaging with the parties concerned with a view to addressing the issue through the institution’s internal mechanisms. The union remains committed to that process and counts on the cooperation of everyone, particularly Mr Bojang Jr and Mr Njie.

GPU leadership assured its commitment towards the protection of media professionals and press freedom as well advocates promotion of the rights and welfare of media professionals.

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