Deyda Hydara

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A billboard for a tourism conference in Gambia. (CPJ)

Gambia’s ‘Smiling Coast’ hides local media’s grimace

Who would not like to enjoy luxurious beach resorts and quaint fishing villages on the “Smiling Coast of Africa”? This is the pitch that the Gambian government made to participants of an international tourism conference last week. In fact, behind the idyllic facade of a tropical paradise wedged on Africa’s western Atlantic coast is the…

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Al-Shabaab militants patrol Mogadishu's Bakara Market, home to several media outlets. (Reuters/Feisal Omar)

In African hot spots, journalists forced into exile

By Tom Rhodes High numbers of local journalists have fled several African countries in recent years after being assaulted, threatened, or imprisoned, leaving a deep void in professional reporting. The starkest examples are in the Horn of Africa nations of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, where dozens of journalists have been forced into exile. Zimbabwe, Rwanda,…

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Attacks on the Press 2009: Gambia

Top Developments•  Hydara murder unsolved; secrecy surrounds Manneh detention.•  Domestic, international pressure prompts Jammeh to halt crackdown. Key Statistic 6: Journalists jailed for sedition after saying president’s remarks on Hydara case were insensitive. Authorities jailed six journalists after their publications said President Yahya Jammeh had been insensitive in televised remarks about the unsolved 2004 murder of prominent…

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CPJ Impact

September 2009  News from the Committee to Protect Journalists

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Sarata Jabbi-Dibba's family rejoices as she returns home. (The Point)

Newly freed, Gambian columnist describes jail

On an ordinary Friday, Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, a reporter in the West African nation of Gambia, publishes her weekly column on women’s issues, “She She She,” in the only independent daily newspaper here, The Point. Last Friday however, Dibba was herself a newsmaker—after recovering her freedom.

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Gambian court convicts six journalists of sedition

New York, August 6, 2009–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the highly politicized court verdict against six independent journalists today in the capital of the Gambia, Banjul. 

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(AFP)

Only the Gambian president has press freedom

On July 22, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh once again went after journalists in an interview on the country’s only state-run television station. The president made a thinly veiled threat toward six independent journalists currently facing “seditious publication” and “criminal defamation” charges in the country: “So they think they can hide behind so-called press freedom and…

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CPJ seeks release of Ebrima Manneh in Gambia

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalist urges you to end an unprecedented level of intimidation and detention of Gambian journalists by national security forces. Today marks the third anniversary of the disappearance of journalist “Chief” Ebrima Manneh–his whereabouts, health, and legal status are unknown. Manneh, a former reporter for the Daily Observer, was taken into government custody by security agents in July 2006.

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In Gambia, reporter still held after arrest at sedition hearing

New York, June 23, 2009–A Gambian reporter arrested on Monday while covering a pre-trial hearing in the sedition case of seven journalists jailed last week, was still being held without charge late today, according to local journalists and news reports.

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Gambian journalists freed on bail in sedition case

New York, June 22, 2009–Seven Gambian journalists charged with sedition last week for criticizing the president have been freed on bail, while two other detainees were released without charge, local journalists and the press union told CPJ today.

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