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Gambian security forces to be schooled on human rights, press freedom

Gambian security forces to be schooled on human rights, press freedom

Gambia

Gambian security forces will undergo a training programme in June on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists to improve their capacity to uphold rights of citizens.

Facilitated by the British human rights organization, Article 19, with the support of UNESCO and funding by EU’s Governance Programme, the training will be held between June 5 to 10.

“The training aims to improve the capacities of security forces in the Gambia to guarantee freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the context of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity,” UNESCO said in a statement on Monday.

The targeted security forces were not stated and the number of participants was not disclosed.

The training aims to improve the capacities of security forces in the Gambia to guarantee freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the context of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

Gambia had one of the most notorious security agencies under exiled former president Yahya Jammeh who has been accused of using the agencies to jail, torture and murder those who oppose his rule.

Journalists have also suffered abuses and censorship under Jammeh’s regime as many operated outside the country to avoid persecution.

President Adama Barrow declared the media free after his took office and promised to protect human rights.

The Gambian Army was overhauled after the defeat of Jammeh when they surrendered to the ECOWAS regional forces who entered the country to protect the rights of the people when the former president refused to accept the election results.

Jammeh’s national intelligence agency was disbanded and some members arrested for the murder of opposition leader and activist Ebrima Solo Sandeng who died in custody days after he was arrested in April last year.

Sandeng’s remains were exhumed after some of the detained national intelligence agency officials pointed investigators to its location at a village.

Head of the agency, Yankuba Badjie and eight others have been charged with conspiracy to commit felony and murder of Sandeng.

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