8 April 2008
District tribunal president bans media coverage of proceedings
(MFWA/IFEX) - Dembo Santang Bojang, President of Kombo Central District Tribunal in the Western Region of The Gambia, on 8 April 2008 warned journalists in the region to stop covering its proceedings or risk going to jail.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that Bojang threatened to hold Modou Jonga, a reporter for the privately-owned Banjul-based "Foroyaa" newspaper, in contempt of the tribunal.
The sources said the decision to ban the journalists followed a civil suit Bojang brought against his brother in the same court he heads.
Under The Gambian constitution, district chiefs are appointed President of the district tribunal and preside over both civil and criminal matters.
It is likely that Bojang will act as both prosecutor and judge of the case, which defies the fundamental principles of justice.
Meanwhile, the management of "Foroyaa" newspaper has sent a protest letter to the country's Chief Justice about Bojang's actions.