Gambia Parliament has ratified a bill that allowed for a 15 years jail term for any person found guilty of using the internet to spread “false news” about the regime of the country’s iron fist ruler, dictator Yahya Jammeh or public officials.
The Amended Information Act 2013 also imposes a fine of D3 Million on persons found guilty of publishing “false news” online against the regime or public officials.
This latest move is targeted at online newspapers and bloggers and social networking users, ASN Banjul correspondent reported.
On April 16, 2013, the National Assembly amended Section 114 of the Criminal Code which imposes a jail term of five years or a fine of D50, 000 (about USD1, 650) on persons convicted of giving false information.
The law previously allowed a jail term of not more than six months or a fine of D500 (about USD17) or both.