9 February 1998


Two journalists arrested; radio station closed

Incident details

Boubacar Gaye, Ebrima Sillah



(IPI/IFEX) - On 5 February 1998, Boubacar Gaye and Ebrima Sillah, the
proprietor and news editor respectively of Citizen FM radio, were arrested
by members of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and brought to NIA
headquarters for questioning. The following day, NIA officials and more than
a dozen armed soldiers sealed off the Citizen FM station and ordered all
staff members to leave the premises. The detention of Gaye and Sillah came
shortly after Citizen FM broadcast a story claiming that the NIA's Director
of Operations had been sacked in connection with an alleged counterfeit
scandal. It seems that the Ministry for Information, in consultation with
the Ministry for Justice, issued an official statement which stated that the
broadcasting of rumors about a staff shake-up at the NIA was "irresponsible"
and "deceptive," and violated both national security interests and the
conditions under which radio and newspaper licenses are issued.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • telling them that the continued detention of Gaye and Sillah, as well as
    the closure of Citizen FM, is a violation of the right to seek, receive, and
    impart information, as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • urging them to ensure that the two journalists are released immediately
    and unconditionally, and that Citizen FM is allowed to resume broadcasting

    Appeals To

    H.E. Yahya Jammeh
    President and Commander-in-Chief
    of the Armed Forces
    The Gambia
    Fax: +220 227 034

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    International Press Institute
    Spiegelgasse 2
    1010 Vienna
    ipi (@) freemedia.at
    Fax:+43 1 5129014
    The Gambia

    IFEX members working in this country 1

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