(JollofNews) – Members of the National Assembly in The Gambia Wednesday enacted a controversial law which imposes long jail term and heavy fines to anyone convicted of using the internet to spread false news about the government and public officials.
The Amended Information Act 2013 imposes a 15 year jail-term or a fine of D3 million on anyone who incite dissatisfaction or instigate violence against the government or public officials, caricature, abuse or make derogatory statements against the person or character of officials, impersonate any public official, blackmail any person or threaten to commit a criminal offence against any person even outside the country’s jurisdiction.
According to Nana Grey Johnson, Gambian Minister for Information and Communication Infrastructure, the new law will curb the use of internet by Gambians both at home and abroad to conduct treacherous campaigns against government and public officials.
‘’In the recent past, some citizens have waged concerted efforts to pit the people and the security officials of the Gambia against their government,’’ he said.
‘’They do this by inciting the people to engage in unpatriotic behavior, spreading false news and engaging in criminal defamation against government officials. Such tendencies, if unchecked are a recipe for chaos and instability in any country.’’