Pansy Tlakula, the African Union's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Infor-mation, has done her best to address the continued harassment of journalists in the Gambia.
By Stanley Kwenda as published by our top partner allAfrica
In her role as commissioner of the African Commission on Human Peoples' Rights, she has appealed many times to the government of the West African nation to respect people's right to freedom of expression.
"I have written several letters to the government with regard to the recent arrest of journalists – the government is now tired of my letters. We have done everything possible to highlight the issue in the Gambia and other African countries," she said. But it has not been enough to prevent the Gambian government's crackdown on the media.
In September, the government arrested two journalists and shut down their newspapers, The Standard and The Daily News, as they had extensively covered opposition to the government's execution of nine death row in-mates.
In June, the country's former Minister of Information and Communications Amadou Scattred Janneh and three others were arrested for printing and distributing T-shirts that called for an end to the dictatorship in the Gambia.
Janneh, who is also a US citizen, had been charged with treason and jailed for life and was only released after US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson intervened.
Read the full interview here.