Gambia / Africa

Journalists attacked in Gambia since 1992

  
AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara, front, pictured in November 1999. (AFP/Seyllou)

Deyda Hydara’s daughter: ‘I am still crying’ for murdered Gambian journalist

At Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on July 22, army officer Lieutenant Malick Jatta named former President Yahya Jammeh as the mastermind behind the murder of prominent editor Deyda Hydara on December 16 , 2004. He said Jammeh had given the direct order to assassinate Hydara, an outspoken critic who was the managing…

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Former Gambia President Yahya Jammeh, pictured in November 2016, is among the suspected human rights abusers to be penalized under the U.S. Magnitsky Act. (Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon)

Mixed first year, but Global Magnitsky Act could be strong tool in fight for justice

In December, the U.S. government announced the names of those it will penalize under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act.

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World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home.

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The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of…

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Gambia should free ailing, arbitrarily detained journalist

CPJ today joined with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to call on Gambia to free Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, managing director of the independent radio station Teranga FM, who has been charged with sedition and “publication of false news.” Ceesay has been hospitalized twice since the beginning of 2016. Read the full statement here.

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CPJ board member Clarence Page, right, speaks  at a panel Wednesday organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in partnership with CPJ in Washington, D.C. (CPJ/Rachael Levy)

First US-Africa summit short on press freedom, other human rights

Top African and U.S. leaders are meeting next week in Washington in a first-of-its-kind summit focused on African development. But critics argue the summit is flawed in design, overlooking human rights such as freedom of expression and barring civil society actors from bilateral discussions.

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A bid to rid Africa of criminal defamation, sedition laws

The African Union’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information, Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, has launched an auspicious initiative in East Africa to counter criminal defamation and sedition laws. Since independence, authorities and business interests in the East and Horn region have used criminal laws on sedition, libel, and insult–often relics of former,…

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Deyda Hydara and his wife Maria circa 1989. Arrest warrants are issued for two suspects in the journalist's killing. (Hydara family)

More can be done to get justice for Deyda Hydara

In the eight years since unidentified assailants shot and killed Deyda Hydara of the Gambia, no one has been held to account. The late 2004 murder of Hydara, an immensely respected editor, columnist, and press freedom advocate known for his criticism of President Yahya Jammeh’s repressive media policies, became a rallying point for Gambian journalists…

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has reportedly asked for U.N. assistance to investigate the case of a missing journalist. (AFP/Seyllou)

For Gambia’s press, positive developments?

Good news for Gambia’s beleaguered independent press has been rare during President Yahya Jammeh’s 17-year rule, but last week brought three potentially positive developments. It’s unclear whether they mark a real change in the status quo, but they may at least increase the resolve of advocacy groups to seek improvements.

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Deyda Hydara and his wife Maria circa 1989. Arrest warrants are issued for two suspects in the journalist's killing. (Hydara family)

Pursuing justice for Gambia’s Deyda Hydara

December 16 will be the seventh anniversary of the killing of Deyda Hydara, the dean of Gambian journalism. It is also the 20th anniversary of the first issue of The Point, the courageously independent-minded daily that Hydara founded and directed for many years. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting as he drove himself and…

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