Gambia's journalists, free from dictator, work to win trust

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Journalists in Gambia have launched a self-regulatory body they hope will offer legitimacy, and more freedom, to media emerging from a dictatorship that ruled the tiny West African nation for more than two decades.

During the 22 years of former President Yahya Jammeh's rule, journalists were regularly abducted, tortured and killed. The new government has vowed new freedoms after Jammeh fled into exile in early 2017 following a surprise election defeat.

Outdated sedition laws are still on the books, however, and the public is urged to bring any complaints about journalists to the new Media Council of The Gambia instead of to the courts.

Saikou Jammeh, secretary-general of the Gambia Press Union, which oversees the new body, said there is a need to promote higher professional standards.