Friday, July 5, 2013

YJAG urges Gambia to investigate dissapearance of former President

A MESSAGE ON WPD WAS: Protect Journalists, Promote Professionalism, Support Media Development (Photo Credit: MSJoof/Globe/FPI)
The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia (YJAG) has called on The Government of The Gambia, whose mandate it is to protect lives and properties of all citizens, to try to launch an investigation on the whereabouts of missing journalist Assan Sallah.

In a statement Thursday, YJAG said it is deeply concerned over the safety and security of colleague, member and former President, Assan Sallah, who is also a News Editor at the Daily Observer Newspaper.

Mr Sallah reportedly went missing since Wednesday, June 26, 2013. His whereabouts is not known, according to his colleagues at work, who told YJAG that Mr Sallah last reported for work last Wednesday.

Family sources have also told YJAG that they have not heard from Mr. Sallah and could not reach him on phone since last week.  However, according to media reports, Sallah reportedly “fled to Senegal or is under arrest”.

"We are demanding that the government tells the public whether Mr Sallah is actually under arrest and if so why? And also if he had fled the country we also want to know matters leading to him leaving the country," the statement stated.

"Equally, YJAG is also calling on his employer the Daily Observer Company Ltd (where he was last seen by his colleagues) to endeavour to bring to light Sallah’s ordeal, and to clarify reports of his purported “imminent sacking”, it added.

YJAG, whose mandate it is to protect and promote the welfare of young journalists in the country, said on July 4 that it is in solidarity with the Sallah’s family during this "difficult moment."

In February 2013, Mr Sallah was arrested, detained overnight and grilled by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in connection to an earlier arrest of Alagie Jobe, a Deputy Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Observer who is currently under trial on multiple charges including sedition. 

On July 7, 2006, Daily Observer journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh went missing after he was reportedly arrested by officials of the NIA. The government has since denied holding him and his whereabouts remains unknown seven years on. 

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