The Gambia. Few African regimes have a more repressive
attitude to the media than the Gambian. Seven of the
country's most well-known journalists were arrested in June,
five of them in raids against the press association's
premises, and charged with rioting and defamation. In
several newspaper articles, they had questioned President
Yahya Jammeh's statement that the regime was not behind the
2004 assassination of prominent editor Deyda Hydara. Six of
those arrested were sentenced to two years in prison while
one was acquitted. According to
countryaah, the judges were criticized by the EU and
the US as a threat to freedom of speech and a parody of
justice. After a month, the president pardoned all six
without further justification.
In September, President Jammeh arose when he threatened
to kill human rights activists in a televised match, as his
activities, according to him, "destabilize" society. The
threat was answered by a call on the Internet demanding that
the African Union move its headquarters for human rights
issues from The Gambia. President Jammeh also announced that
the country will resume executions. The Gambia was reported
at the beginning of the year to have 15 convicted prisoners.
Officially, no one has been executed in the country since
the 1980s, but it is believed to have occurred in secret.