17 March 2011

Gambia News:Gambia's Jammeh denies involvement in journalists' murders

(AFP) –BANJUL, Gambia — Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh has denied his government was involved in the 2004 murder of prominent journalist Deyda Hydara and the disappearance of another, Chief Ebrima Manneh, in July 2006.
"Let me make it very clear that my government has nothing to do with the death and disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh," Jammeh told a group of media chiefs and editors in the country, who met him Wednesday evening at State House in Banjul.
(AFP) –The meeting, which brought together Jammeh's cabinet including the small west African country's vice president and ministers for women's affairs and communications, as well as senior journalists, was aimed at fostering closer ties between the government and the media.
Hydara, the editor and co-founder of the independent newspaper The Point and one-time Gambia correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP), was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of Banjul on December 16, 2004.
"There is no genuine reason why the government will kill Deyda Hydara. If I have good reasons to kill Deyda Hydara, I will take him to court and if convicted, I will follow the the court's decision without any regret," Jammeh told the gathering.
Jammeh also told journalists that he will not tolerate sensationalist journalism in the country. "I will also not sacrifice Gambia's peace and security at the altar of freedom of expression," he said.

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