Thursday, August 22, 2019

Is Yankuba Touray On Trial?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Foroyaa cannot honestly answer this question unless it relies on GRTS for information. The Foroyaa journalist sent to cover the court where it was informed that Yankuba Touray would be arraigned for the murder of Koro Ceesay, was along with other journalists, but not allowed in while GRTS was allowed in to do coverage as is customary in kangaroo courts where only the state media is allowed in for censored coverage of trials.

‘Never again!’ is the slogan. How could one justify this crude isolation of the national media houses in witnessing the case against a witness whose appearance before the TRRC has brought about the most controversial issues facing the Commission? Everybody expected that the courts will finally make sense of the legal tussles outside of the ambit of the courts and allow the public to have more faith in the justice system.

Transitional justice is not about retribution. It is about building confidence in the system of justice in the country by ensuring that both victims and perpetrators and those who side with them will not only be told that justice is done but will be convinced that justice is done by beholding it with their own eyes.

Someone prefers to keep the nation in darkness by keeping the journalists at bay. The person responsible for this cannot be seen as a true servant of the nation at this critical time of its history when transparency is needed the most. We hope that the Chief Justice of The Gambia would issue an order to the security forces not to stop journalists from entering court houses to cover any case that GRTS is covering.

The media will hold the courts accountable for maintaining independence and impartiality.

Foroyaa will launch a complaint to the Judicial Secretary regarding this denial of journalists to cover the arraignment of Yankuba Touray.

The Constitution is clear. It states under section 24.

“All proceedings of every court and proceedings relating to the determination of the existence or extent of civil rights or obligations before any other authority, including the announcement of the decision of the court or other authority, shall be held in public.”

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