Gambians Urge Pura to Stop Censorship, Regulate GSM Operators

19 November 2020

Some Gambians have expressed their utter dismay at the Public Utility Authority (PURA) for what they say is censoring radio stations in the country after the regulatory body warned radio stations against the usage of foul language.

PURA earlier in the week issued a public notice expressing its concerns on abusive language on radio stations.

The regulatory body frowned at what it says is 'abusive through the constant use of insults and unsavory language unethical to the cultural norms and values of Gambian society.'

It said some of the radio stations play uncensored music with graphic language during peak day time hours.

PURA also said "all radio stations owners are hereby warned to devise programming as per the tenets of the IC Act, Individual Radio Station Licenses and the Broadcasting Code of Conduct.

Failure to do so shall result in the enforcement action against default licences as per the provisions of the PURA Act, IC Act and relevant broadcasting regulations.

This statement has angered some sections of the population who accused PURA of censoring and misplaced priorities.

Some of them say the regulatory body should help to regulate the expensive cost on the internet instead of threatening radio stations.

Papis said: "I don't see the sense in them threatening the radio stations about language. I don't see anywhere that language in the radio station is affecting society.

"With all the evolving technology and internet in the world, Gambians in the late 2020 are yet to enjoy a steady internet and despite its expensiveness. So that's one area PURA is really needed to act upon."

On the cost of internet in the Gambia, Omar said, "the rates are too much and the services are poor, Gambians have been robbed by these service providers for too long and still continue to suffer great loss of income for unsatisfactory services."

The Gambia has one of the most expensive internet costs in Africa. Despite the overwhelming cost of the internet, the country still has one of the poorest internet services in the world. Ordinary poor Gambians continue to bear the brunt and some of them are urging PURA to mitigate that instead of threatening their freedom of expression.

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