The Gambia has moved to 87 out of 180 countries surveyed in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

In 2019, the country was ranked 92 out of 180 countries.

“Gambia has continued to progress despite some notable press freedom violations in 2019,” the RSF said in a statement. 

It said The Gambia has not registered any death of a journalist, citizen journalist or media assistant. 

However RSF said that “the old habits from 23 years of terror and suppression of press freedom have not yet fully disappeared.

“Two privately-owned radio stations, King FM and Home Digital FM, were closed for a month in early 2020 and their managers were arrested for allegedly inciting hate in their coverage of protests organized by opposition political parties.”

RSF urged The Gambia government to overhaul draconian legislations that violates press freedom in the country. 

“In May 2018, the supreme court ruled that the criminalization of defamation was unconstitutional but, despite the good intentions expressed by Barrow, the long awaited overhaul of legislation that violates press freedom has yet to materialize.”

At number 23, Namibia is the highest-ranked African country on the list, which features Nordic regions Norway, Finland and Denmark in the top three spots respectively.

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