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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Alert: Gambian journalist Saikou Ceesay allegedly faces death threat for criticising Ecowas term limit proposal

On the evening of Sunday, May 24, the managing editor of Gambia Affairs, the only Gambia-based online newspaper, Mr Saikou Ceesay, has received a telephone call from an anonymous caller, who allegedly threatened to send thugs to kill him.

The caller threatened to kill Mr Ceesay for his criticisms of the recent attempt by Ecowas to introduce term limits for presidency in the sub region.
Call records on the mobile phone of the journalist indicate that the call came in at 6:37 pm.
According to Mr Ceesay, the caller warned that he is ‘gonna send people to eliminate’ him over his Facebook update on Thursday, May 21, which reads as follows:
“To Ecowas: The sovereignty of nations must be respected. The term "term limits" is sovereign. It cannot be imposed on any nation regardless of size or wealth. Let Ecowas work on meeting the economic needs of people on the bloc. Economic and re-education emancipation are key in the struggle for a prosperous Africa. Poverty and ignorance has emasculated the continent in all spheres. Let us work together as a bloc and stop undermining sovereignty of other nations."
The Gambia Press Union is deeply concerned by this unfortunate incident. While welcoming the debate that was triggered by the comment on Facebook, we condemn, in strongest terms, the threats by the anonymous caller. 
It is regrettable that in this 21st century, certain people still have as an option the use of violence against those that they disagree in opinion, in spite of the easy media access with the proliferation of media platforms in the country.
While commending the police for their cooperation so far, we encourage the authorities to endeavour to reach the bottom of the matter, and bring the person/s involved to book.

The GPU is committed to the protection of the rights of journalists, and by extension, the right to freedom of speech, which every Gambian is entitled to enjoy, as guaranteed by the Constitution of The Gambia.

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