CPJ Journalist Security Blog


Jammeh may be a Nebraska "admiral," but he was not commended by Obama. (Reuters)

"President Jammeh bags 4 awards," trumpeted a September 17 headline of the Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper in the Gambia, a West African nation whose idyllic fa├žade as "the smiling coast of Africa" is maintained in part by President Yahyah Jammeh's brutal repression of the independent press. 

Eyewitnesses saw him being led away. "We were in our Banjul newsroom on July
7, 2006, working on the next issue of the Daily Observer, when two plainclothes
officers with the Gambian National Intelligence Agency approached Chief," wrote Observer editor
and correspondent Ousman Darboe
. "I knew one of the officers as a Corporal
Sey. They told Chief, a subeditor and reporter at the paper, that he was needed
at the Bakau police station for questioning. He went along voluntarily, leaving
his bag behind and saying he was confident he would be back soon."

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