CPJ condemns arrest of Gambian journalists

June 15, 2009 5:28 PM ET

After receiving reports today of the arrest of seven senior Gambian journalists and press union leaders who criticized President Yahya Jammeh for remarks that bluntly refuted government involvement in the unsolved 2004 murder of an editor, we issued the following statement...

"The failure of the Gambian authorities to bring those responsible for the killing of Deyda Hydara to justice has rightly angered local journalists," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes. "Instead of answering journalists' legitimate questions about this case, the authorities are locking them up. They should be released immediately."

3 comments

It is yet another sad day in the history of Gambian journalism. President Jammeh and cohorts at he NIA must not only release these seven innocent journlist as demanded by the CPJ but also they should come out plain and tell te world that they killed Deyda Hydara.
This is just another madness and it must stop now.
I call on all right thinking individuals and states to us in condeming the callous act of our mad president.
Yaya Jammeh! your hands are every other day getting dirtier, so better start thing straight.
By Yaya Dampha
Sweden

President Yahya Jammeh's bullying and machination of lies and continual lies just to fabricate the circumstance surrounding the murder of Deyda Hydara to many is not a surprise. Arresting members Gambia Press Union for challenge your your fairy tale story is a clear vindication the criminal nature of the regime that have no respect freedom of expression. Gambian Journalists will continue to determinate and demand circumstance surrounding the murder of Yahya Jammeh, Omar Barrow and disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh.
We call in all decent citizens of this globalised world to advocate with Gambian Journalist Home and Abroad to pressure Yahya Jammeh's regime to unconditionally release the journalist!

abdoukarim sanneh June 16, 2009 11:11:36 AM ET

Back in 1995 when I began work in The Gambia, Yahya James Jammeh (then a Colonel/Coup-leader) said "all journalists and human rights workers should go six feet under". He made this statement in the national stadium in Bakau and has turned into a real tyrant since, certainly with regard to the media. I had an opportunity to meet him once, but passed on it because of his treatment of my colleagues. I never imagined however that things would get so bad.
I knew Omar and knew and worked with Deyda in the mid-to-late '90s organising a journalism training course. I'm proud of my past membership of the Gambia Press Union and proud to have worked with brave men and women who strived to highlight the excesses of a tyrannical leadership.
Jammeh should be ashamed of himself. Deyda Hydara's murderers must one day be put behind bars. Furthermore, there should be a proper investigation into the April 2000 massacre when security forces shot dead a dozen people, (most of them children) including Red Cross worker and radio journalist Omar Barrow.

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