Sunday, November 25, 2012

‘The Gambian government must guarantee the safety of Journalist Abubacarr Saidykhan’


The Committee to Protect Journalists has said the government of the Gambia must guarantee the security of Abubacarr Saidykhan, a freelance journalist.

CPJ on Friday, November 16 2012, said it holds authorities in the Gambia responsible for the safety of a journalist who has received death threats following critical coverage of the government.
"The Gambian government must guarantee the safety of Abubacarr Saidykhan," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita from New York. "The impunity afforded to the killers of Deyda Hydara has emboldened the enemies of the press in the Gambia."

According to CPJ, Saidykhan, who contributes to several news websites, told CPJ that four unknown people on Tuesday threatened him at his Ebo Town residence in Kanifing Municipality, some seven miles (11 kilometers) from the capital Banjul.

“Saidykhan said he was near his compound gate with his brother when the men drove up in an unmarked vehicle with tinted windows and threatened to kill him next time they see him. One of the men called him "a very stubborn journalist" before they drove off”.
Local journalist told CPJ the threats should not be taken lightly, referring to the case of eminent editor Deyda Hydara, who was killed in December 2004 after reporting death threats. No one has ever been prosecuted for his murder.”
“Local journalists said the threats could be linked to coverage of opposition to President Yahya Jammeh's decision to execute death row inmates, about which Saidykhan has written a series of articles”
Tuesday's threat came three weeks after Saidykhan and Baboucarr Ceesay, a regular contributor toAfrica Review and the authorof a story about opposition to the executions, received an anonymous death threat via email on October 25 that they forwarded to CPJ.

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