Gambia: Seven foreign journalists expelled

Banjul,Gambia (PANA) - Seven journalists, who are in The Gambia to cover the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow, were on January 16, 2017 prevented from entering the country, according media body Media Foundation for West Africa

According to a statement obtained by PANA in  Banjul today Tuesday, the MFWA’s sources say upon arriving at the Banjul International Airport, security officers briefly detained the journalists at the airport and later deported them to neighbouring Senegal.
The release quoted sources saying, four of the journalists were from the regional bureau of CCTV in Kenya, one photojournalist from AFP and two journalists from media organisations in Sweden. It is not clear which media organisations they were representing.
The release further said the expulsion of the seven journalists brings to nine the number of foreign journalists deported from the country. On December 12, 2016, two journalists with Al Jazeera were prevented from covering post-election activities in The Gambia and were detained overnight and subsequently deported to Senegal.

The MFWA condemns the detention and subsequent deportation of the journalists. The current developments in The Gambia require a vibrant media to keep the citizens and the international community informed, the release stressed.

The statement further said the nation is facing a political crisis following President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept the December 1, 2016 elections result after losing to Adama Barrow.

‘ In a bid to prevent the media from covering post-election activities and the impending inauguration of President-elect Barrow, the outgoing regime has resorted to a severe crackdown on the media, civil society activists and citizens in which there have been arrests, detentions and shutdown of radio stations in the country.

The MFWA urges the Gambian government led by out-going President Yahya Jammeh to respect freedom of expression and press freedom and allow both the local and international media to do their work without any interference”, the release said.
-0- PANA MSS 17th January 2017

17 january 2017 19:22:13

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