The International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) today called for the immediate release of Lamin Njie, editor of the DailyNews newspaper and the Assistant Secretary General of the Gambia
Press Union, (GPU).
Lamin Njie has been detained at the state central
prisons at Mile Two, last Friday, 22
June, in relation to a story he had published concerning the bail application
of three officials of the Gambia Revenue Authority.
“We bemoan the highhandedness of the Judge’s
decision in this matter,” said Gabriel
Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. “The treatment
meted out to our colleague is too harsh and unacceptable, most especially when
a corrigendum was issued in the paper’s subsequent edition”.
According to a statement by the GPU, an IFJ
Affiliate, on Monday, 18 June, 2012 Lamin Njie wrote a story stating that the High
Court denied the bail application of three officials of the Gambia Revenue Authority,
who are standing trial on tax related charges. However, the bail application
was not denied as reported by Lamin, as the Judge was yet to rule on it.
On Tuesday, 19 June 2012, the Daily Newspaper
had issued a corrigendum and apologised for the mistake. Despite the correction
and apology, the court issued a summons for Lamin Njie to appear before it and
to explain why he should not be convicted for contempt of court. He was
eventually remanded in prison despite the appeals made to the Judge by the GPU
Lawyer and other members of the GPU executive.
The IFJ calls for the immediate release of Lamin
Njie and call on the judicial authorities to tamper justice with mercy in
regard to such a trivial issue most especially after a corrigendum and apology
had been issued by the paper. The IFJ also calls on the Government of The
Gambia to create a more conducive environment for the media to flourish.
For more information
contact the IFJ: 221 33 867 95 86/87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000
journalists in 134 countries