Jammeh, appearing June 8 on state-run Gambia Radio and Television Service, said the government investigation into Hydara's slaying had stalled, according to media reports. Jammeh noted that a news Web site has carried a headline saying, "Who Killed Deyda Hydara?" and then retorted: "Let them go and ask Deyda Hydara who killed him."
The Gambian Press Union issued a statement criticizing Jammeh for being insensitive and calling for a renewed investigation into the unsolved killing. Four of those arrested thus far are press union leaders. All eight are staffers for either The Point or Foroyaa newspapers, both of which reprinted the press union statement. Hydara was editor of The Point.
All eight journalists are being held at Mile Two Prison, defense lawyer Lamin Camara told CPJ. Only one was granted bail. Journalist Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, mother of a six-month-old, was granted bail of 200,000 dalasi (US$7,547) but there was insufficient time for colleagues and family members to raise the amount, the press union reported.
One of those charged, Point
Managing Editor Pap Saine, suffers from a heart condition and was planning
to go to
"We're deeply anguished by the arrests of these journalists,
several of whom I met in my visit to the
The seven journalists charged with sedition were arrested by
security agents on Monday, local journalists told CPJ. The charges were lodged
today just moments before the government would have been constitutionally
obligated to release the journalists. According to the
The National Intelligence Agency has denied the journalists access to their lawyer, family members, and colleagues, Camara told CPJ. They are due in court again on Monday, when the lawyer said a bail application would be filed.
According to local journalists and the press union, security forces arrested Gibba today after questioning staff at The Point over why the paper was still publishing despite the detentions of senior employees. Security forces are holding Foroyaa's managing editor Sam Saar, assistant editor, Emil Touray, and reporter Abubakr Saidy Kahn, along with The Point's managing editor Saine, news editor Ebrima Sawaneh, and reporters Jabbi-Dibba and Pa Modou Faal.
Hydara, one of the nation's leading editors, was killed by
unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of