Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – The global press freedom body, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), on Friday wrote to the US government to investigate claims that the missing Gambian journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh, is in the US.
The Gambian journalist has been missing since July 2006 and some rights groups have accused the Gambian authorities of holding Manneh, which the government has persistently denied.
Gambia's Police Chief Yankuba Sonko recently told a local newspaper in Banjul that his organisation had received information from Interpol that Chief Ebrima Manneh was in the US.
The IFJ sent out an open letter to the US Government, requesting Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's ''personal intervention'' in investigating allegations of the presence of the missing Gambian journalist in the US.
“We write to request that Mrs. Clinton investigates the allegations by the Gambia Government that journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh is alive and lives in the US,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Director for Africa Office.
According to the IFJ, Mr. Sonko's remarks were widely carried by the media but had not been confirmed or denied either by the US or any independent source.
“Considering its leading role in the world with regard to respect for the freedom of the press and democracy, we urge the US to give this request due consideration with a view to bringing to an end a long wait for the journalist’s family and friends,” the IFJ Director added.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 7July 2012