Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gambian president pardons critical journalists

Six Gambian journalists sentenced last month to two years in prison after publishing comments critical of the tiny west African nation's president walked free on Thursday after receiving pardons.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh pardoned the journalists, his office said in a statement.
Gambian Press Union Vice President Sarata Jabbi-Dibba told AFP by telephone that she had been released from the Mile 2 prison.
Her five male colleagues left the Mile Jeshwang prison outside Banjul on Thursday evening chanting "the truth will always prevail".
The journalists from the newspaper Foroyaa and weekly publication The Point were convicted of sedition and defamation for comments critical of Jammeh.
They were taken to court after their publications carried a statement from the Gambia Press Union which attacked remarks made by Jammeh about the murder of a prominent journalist in 2004.
Jammeh, who has ruled the west African country since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1994, warned journalists in July against tarnishing Gambia's image.

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