COULD THE MEDIA COVER COURT MARTIALS? “I Have No Instruction to let the Media in ” Says GAF PRO

By Kebba Jeffang
Lieutenant Malick Sanyang, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of Gambia
Armed Forces (GAF) said the issue of media coverage of court martial
is beyond him and that he has no instruction to let the media in.“I don’t make decisions and I have senior men who decide on matters
and not me. Had I been instructed to do it, I would have done so
since,” he said.
The GAF spokesperson said this on Tuesday, 24th March, 2015 at the
Fajara Barracks, when responding to the issue raised by this reporter
concerning the lack of access to cover the court martial of some
members of the security forces who are alleged to be involved in the
30 December 2014 insurgency and which is said to be ongoing.
It could be recalled that this medium has been making several attempts
to cover the proceedings of the court martial but without success.
This reporter has been told, on many occasions, by the soldiers he
found at the gates of both the Fajara Barracks and former officers’
mess, that they have not received an order from the GAF PRO to allow
the media in.
Foroyaa wrote a letter to GAF Headquarters in Banjul citing the
provisions of both the Constitution and Armed Forces Act that allowed
for media access and coverage of the court martial.
With the many follow-ups made by this reporter on the letter, it was
first gathered that the PRO was indisposed after his arrival from a trip
to Mali. It was also said that the PRO could not give any assurance to
the media regarding coverage until instruction is given by the
superiors.