Justice Minister, Abubacarr Tambadou has told journalists on Tuesday at his office that the publication of false news is still a criminal offence in The Gambia. Tambadou was speaking at a press conference where he shared with the media developments taking palce at his ministry..Here is the full statement on the publication of false news..
Finally, allow me to say a few words in closing. Recently, we have noticed a worrisome trend in the country and this must be addressed. While we want to encourage a culture of tolerance and the freedom of expression like in any democracy, this must not be equated with chaos or be used as an opportunity to tarnish the reputation of or smear innocent people.
The tendency is that once an allegation is made against someone, many people rush to judgment and condemn them even when there is no evidence to support the allegation. We cannot accuse, try, and condemn people all in one scoop. It amounts to mob justice. Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence until they are found otherwise by law.
Let me also take this opportunity to remind everyone that the publication of false news is still a criminal offence in this country as upheld recently by the Supreme Court and we will not hesitate to apply the law. I therefore encourage everyone to exercise and enjoy their right to freedom of expression without committing a crime because if they do, they will be held accountable. We must not push the boundaries of our new found freedoms to irresponsible or unacceptable limits, because when we do, we hurt others and their families in the process. The law is here to protect everyone including the accuser and the accused.
Now I know that when I make this comment, your minds are running at a thousand miles an hour towards the most recent events so allow me to also clarify that my comments are not intended to address any specific events as there has been too many such events in the country recently.