Saturday, June 30, 2012

Indicted Editor of Today Convicted

Abdulhamid Adiamoh
The Banjul Magistrates Court yesterday convicted Mr. Abdulhamid Adiamoh, the managing editor and publisher of Today Newspaper on allegation of “contempt of court.”

Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe, presiding, sentenced him to a find of D100, 000 (over $3300) in default to serve 6 months in prison. 

 Mr. Adiamoh’s indictment by the court, his arrest and subsequent detention and conviction is in connection with an opinion article "Counsel sidesteps issues in cross-examination of vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia] Professor Kah," in which he criticized a defense lawyer, Badou S.M. Conteh, in the criminal trial of Dr. Gumbo Ali Touray, a former lecturer at the University. 

5 YEARS ON: Lengthy’s Birthday Bash Growing Bigger

Paapa Lengthy - “Jaisiit Bii – Sii Paah Bii” (the crocodile - in the hole)

Paapa Lengthy’s Birthday Bash turned five on May 26, 2012. 

The Birthday Bash, a musical night with live performances to mark singer Paapa Lengthy’s birthday is the biggest annual gathering of music lovers and artists in Latrikunda German.

The show is growing big every year, and attracted 100s of fans who gathered at the Manjai Junction singing and dancing to almost every song sang on the night.

Kolley urges W/A journalists to portray corruption

PIX: Participants, facilitators, & Gambia's Minister of Finance
Hon. Abdou Kolley, Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs has called on West African journalists to assist their various governments in exposing corrupt people and systems. 

He said it is excepted of them to do their job by reporting issues in a professional manner, a role he believe only highly skilled investigative reporters can carry out effectively.

YJAG: Replacement of vacant positions

Ms. Nyima Jadama

Mr. Amat Jeng
The Young Journalists Association of The Gambia, YJAG, said its executive committee unanimously nominated Ms. Nyima Jadama and Mr. Amat Jeng as the Public Relations Officer and Assistant Secretary General of the association respectively.

These nominations were done during an executive meeting held on 8th June 2012 at Unique FM, Bakau.  

England and Wales: Criminalising Twitter airport joke violates free expression

ARTICLE 19 has filed a submission urging the Court to allow the appeal arguing that criminalising jokes online is a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

“Freedom of expression protects jokes, even bad ones. Exaggeration and hyberbole are common occurrences online. Making a joke on Twitter shouldn’t result in a criminal conviction,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, executive director of ARTICLE 19.

Highlights in overall unambitious document

Statement: ARTICLE 19 - 26 June 2012

On 22 June, world leaders attending the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development – known as Rio+20 - issued the long-awaited “The Future We Want” document that has been negotiated for over two years.
The document has been heavily criticised by civil society as being unambitious and lacking in tangible commitments to ensure sustainable development and protect the environment.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Banjul host sub-regional anti-money laundering seminar for journalists

Journalists from Anglophone West Africa will converge in the Gambian capital, Banjul this Thursday for a “Sensitization seminar on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT)”.

The June 28-29 seminar is organised by the sub-regional Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and hosted by a Network of Journalists reporting on money laundering and related financial crimes in The Gambia.  The network will be officially launched at the seminar.

The objectives of the seminar are to expose journalists to the knowledge of AML/CFT framework; to assist journalists to produce reports and articles or features of quality on AML/CFT issues; and to improve the network of journalists who will assist GIABA in disseminating information on the AML/CFT systems in West Africa.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CPJ call for immediate release of Gambian editor

The United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday called on Gambian authorities to immediately release or charge Mr. Abdulhamid Adiamoh, the managing editor and publisher of Today Newspaper.

CPJ said Mr. Adiamoh, who was arrested on June 20 has been in detention without charge longer than the country's limit of 72 hours.

His arrest, ordered by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade, is in connection with an opinion article "Counsel sidesteps issues in cross-examination of [vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia] Professor Kah," in which he criticized a defense lawyer, Badou S.M. Conteh, in the criminal trial of Dr. Gumbo Ali Touray, a former lecturer at the university.

Monday, June 25, 2012

CPJ: Journalist in the Gambia detained beyond legal limit

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Journalist in the Gambia detained beyond legal limit

Mr. Abdulhamid Adiamoh, Managing Editor and Publisher of Today

Abuja, Nigeria, June 25, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Gambian authorities to immediately release or charge a journalist who has been in detention without charge longer than the country's limit of 72 hours.

Court Free Daily News Deputy Editor

The deputy editor of the privately-own tri-weekly newspaper, The Daily News has been released without charge after his appearance at the Special Criminal Division of the High Court on Monday, June 25.

Mr. Lamin Njie was arrested and detained at Mile II, Gambia’s Central Prison on June 22 following an order by Judge Emmanuel Nkea in connection to an article he wrote on a June 15 court session involving Mr. Bakary Sanyang, ex-Commissioner General of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).

The Judge accused Mr. Njie of false reporting in an article titled "High Court Turns Down Bail Request for GRA 4". He subsequently ordered for Mr. Njie’s arrest and court appearance for a possible charge on “contempt of court.”

Daily News Editor Is For Court Today

    Mr. Lamin Njie, Deputy Editor The Daily News

Add caption
An editor of the privately-owned newspaper, The Daily News, Mr. Lamin Njie, is due to appear at the High Court today after a judge ordered for his arrested on June 19, 2012.

High Court Judge, Emmanuel Nkea, who is presiding over the trial of Bakary Sanyang, ex-Commissioner General Gambia Revenue Authority, claimed Mr. Njie reported “falsely” on the trial. He ordered that Mr. be brought to court to explain why he should not be “charged with contempt of court.”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Amnesty urges Senegal to end impunity for rights abuses

A Senegalese police officer aims his tear gas rifle during clashes with protestors in Dakar (AFP/File, Issouf Sanogo)
(AFP) – Amnesty International on Wednesday urged Senegal's new government to deal with rights violations which have gone unpunished for years in the West African nation.

"After years of impunity, the population has great expectations regarding justice," Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International's West Africa researcher, said in a statement on a new report entitled 'Senegal: An agenda for human rights'.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jammeh calls for regional plan for tourism development

Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh recognised that tourism has the potential to be a central pillar in West Africa’s economic development and therefore calls for an all-inclusive plan to develop the sector in the region.

“There is no better time than now to develop a comprehensive and strategic blue print for regional tourism development,” he said on Monday. 

Africa: Private sector account for over 80 per cent of total production

AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka
 Africa’s private sector accounted for more than 80 per cent of total production, two-thirds of total investment, and three-fourths of total credit to the economy between the periods 1996 to 2008, African Development Bank (AfDB) said in its 2012 report.

The “African Development Report” published last month, also said the private sector was also responsible for 90 per cent of formal and informal employment. It also noted that the private sector in most African countries plays critical role to helping the continent reach its full economic and social potential.

Gambian editor detained over court analysis

Mr. Abdulhamid Adiamoh
Mr. Abdulhamid Adiamoh, the Managing Editor of Today, a privately-owned newspaper, has been detained over an article he authored titled “Counsel sidesteps issues in cross examination of UTG V.C. Professor Kah.”

Mr. Adiamoh, who was arrested on Wednesday, is being held by the police at their headquarters in Banjul. His detention followed a court order on Tuesday that “he be arrested and brought to court to explain why he should not be charged with contempt of court.”

A counsel for Dr. Ali Gumbo Touray, former Director of International Affairs at the University of The Gambia (UTG), who is being tried on “giving false information”, applied for the Banjul Magistrates’ Court to issue an arrest mandate for Mr. Adiamoh on June 20.

Refugee crisis devastates East African media

East African journalists fleeing violence in their countries make up nearly half of the more than 450 journalists forced into exile in the past five years, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its “Journalists in Exile 2012″ report marking World Refugee Day.

Bakawsu: I will never give up

Gambian Muslim Cleric Bakawsu Fofana
“I will never give up in spreading the words of God and establishing the truth,” Gambian Muslim cleric, Imam Bakawsu Fofana told The Voice on Sunday.

“I am not provoking any one and if any one feels offended by my preaching, it is not my words. It’s from the Holy Qur’an. I am only translating it,” he added. 

Bakawsu Fofana, who some Muslim religious leaders and some government officials take a dim view of his preaching method, was released from “unlawful detention” on June 9,following his unexplained arrest by the National Intelligence Agency (the NIA)on May 31, 2012. 

After nine days in detention, he was granted a bail of D150, 000 of which two Gambia provided surety.

Gambia Government annul 21 sports bodies, disbands committees

Sports Minister Alieu K. Jammeh
The National Sports Council (NYC), an arm of Gambia’s Sports Ministry on Sunday announce it has  annul the registration of 21 sport associations and subsequently dissolve the executive committees that run them as of June 18. 
The Council said it will consult with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Alieu K. Jammeh, to identify those it called “credible people” to take charge of the affairs of the affected associations.

It added that it will ensure the associations go to congress and elect new executive committees in due course.

The sports associations whose status as national bodies have been revoked by the NYC include that of the Gambia Draught Association of which the current president of the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC), Mr. Momodou Dibba belong and that of his rival Mr. Abdoulie Bax Touray, the Gambia Cycling Association. 

Sports Ministry condemn IOC’s ‘undiplomatic’ threats

Sports Minister Alieu K. Jammeh
Gambia’s Sports Ministry has said it abhors the distasteful tone of language used in a letter by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) addressed to the Gambia National Olympic Committee last week.

While exhorting the Gambia Government not to interfere with the affairs of the GNOC, the IOC called a sports tribunal established by the Youth and Sports Minister “so-called” in the wake of the publication of the tribunal’s findings on last year’s GNOC elections. 

However, the Sports Ministry in a letter addressed to the IOC President, Jacque Rogge, said it condemns the “undiplomatic threats” embedded therein.

63 year old man died while in state custody

The Voice newspaper understands Pa Lamin Darboe, 63, died on June 16 at the State Central Prison, Mille 2, where he was remanded on allegation of being in possession of 10 kilograms of cannabis.
On Tuesday, his younger brother Kemo Darboe confirmed Pa Darboe’s demise.

Arrest Warrant for Daily News ‘Reporter’

High Court Judge, Emmanuel Nkea on Tuesday ordered for the arrest of one Lamin Touray, said to be a “reporter” of The Daily News, a privately-owned a local newspaper in the Gambia.

OFID approves $12M loan to Gambia for energy boost

OFID Ministerial Council and Governing Board meetings in Seefeld, Austria

The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) announced on Monday the approval of a $12 million loan for the Gambia to boost NAWEC’s electricity supply. 

The money meant to be invested in the Kotu Power Station is expected to provide the population, particularly unconnected communities, with an affordable and consistent supply of electrical power, OFID said on June 18. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gambia: IOC takes a dim view of Government’s stance on GNOC elections

Sports Minister Alieu K. Jammeh
The Gambia’s Sports Ministry last week revived the ill-fated February 12, 2011 elections of Gambia National Olympic Committee, GNOC, by calling it “a farce.”

The Government’s stance followed the release of findings by a sports tribunal it setup to look into last year’s GNOC elections which saw Mr. Alhagie Momodou Dibba take the reins at the expense of Mr. Abdoulie Bax Touray who boycotted the polls.

“Such an election without the supervision of the National Sports Council which is mandated to do so by law could best be described as a farce. The credibility of the election of February 12, 2011 was largely diminished as a result of voting by non- eligible voters,” the ministry said on Tuesday.  

“The Council shall ensure the election of an Olympic committee in accordance with the Olympic Charter for the purpose of ensuring The Gambia’s effective representation at each Olympic Games and for carrying out functions relating thereto,” the Ministry added in its June 12 statement.

Friday, June 15, 2012

ICC: New Prosecutor Takes Reins

For Immediate Release

Human Rights Watch (WRW)
Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fatou Bensouda - New ICC chief prosecutor
- The swearing in of the new 
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, comes at a time when expectations for international justice are growing, Human Rights Watch said today.
Bensouda will be sworn into office on June 15, 2012, as the current prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, reaches the end of his nine-year term.

Bensouda is taking over an established office with an already sizeable caseload. 
The office has opened investigations in seven countries and is conducting preliminary examinations to determine whether to open an investigation in at least seven other countries. 

HRW: Expectations for international justice are growing

Fatou Bensouda, New ICC Prosecutor
Human Rights Watch (WRW), one of the world’s most respectable human rights agency, on Thursday said the swearing in of the new International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor comes at a time when “expectations for international justice are growing.” 

Gambia’s former Justice Minister, Fatou Bensouda was sworn into office on June 15, 2012, as the current prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, reaches the end of his nine-year term.

Bensouda is taking over an established office with an already sizeable caseload, HRW said, citing investigations opened by the ICC in seven countries and it’s conducting of preliminary examinations to determine whether to open an investigation in at least seven other countries.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gambia: IFJ presses US, Gambia over missing journalist's fate

International Federation of Journalists - The global press freedom body, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), has urged the governments of America and the Gambia to disclose information on the whereabouts of missing Gambian journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh, PANA reports Wednesday. 

IFJ, in statement, said Manneh has not been seen since his arrested on 11 July, 2006, by the Gambia Police Force of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The global press freedom body also recalled that Manneh's disappearance followed the murder of a prominent journalist, Deyda Hydara, who was killed on 16 December, 2004.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Financial crime often motivated by human greed: Dr. Shehu

Economic and financial crime distorts values and standards and creates injustice, and in whatever form it is manifested, it is often motivated by human greed, Dr. Abdulahi Shehu Yibaikwal, GIABA Director General said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a book presentation on "Strategies and Techniques of Prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes" organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money laundering in West Africa (GIABA) on June 5, 2012 in the Nigerian capital Abuja. 

GIABA, West Africa’s leading antimony laundering and terrorism financing agency is mandated to promote the rule of law. One of its priorities is to assist member states to enact legislation of acceptable international standard, and with its active prodding and guidance, all member states have promulgated laws criminalising money laundering. 

LinkedIn confirms passwords were 'compromised'

LinkedIn said today that some passwords on a list of allegedly stolen hashed passwords belong to its members, but did not say how its site was compromised.

"We can confirm that some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts," Vicente Silveira, a director at the professional social-networking site, wrote in a blog post. It is unknown how many passwords have been verified by LinkedIn. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gambian urban children open to infections, diseases: UNICEF

A flagship report of the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, have found that Gambia’s urban children are facing some of the greatest inequalities and are most vulnerable to infections and diseases.

Such a situation is synonymous to developing countries like Gambia where some urban children in cities and towns are grossly excluded from vital services. 

The report “The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World” published by UNICEF in February this year, was launched on June 5, 2012 by the agency’s country office in The Gambia at Kotu Quarry, a slum-dwelling in the Kanifing Municipality, Gambia’s Serrekunda West district.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Amnesty warn of possible violations in ‘Operation Buldozer’

One of the world’s leading human rights agency, Amnesty International said it is deeply concerned about President Yahya Jammeh’s recent instructions to the security forces to “shoot first and ask questions later” in an attempt to rid the country of “armed robbers”.

GPU faults police chief’s stance on missing journalist

Gambia’s Inspector General of Police, Mr. Yankuba Sonko was quoted last week to have told a local newspaper that missing journalist, Chief Ebrima B. Manneh “was seen in the United States of America.”

Gambia says Bissau officials not criminals

Bissau-Guinean military spokesman Induta in Bissau March 7, 2009

SSFHC donates 100K to wrestling championship

Gambia Government’s housing company on May 28, donated in Cheque an amount of D100, 000 to the Organizing Committee of the National Wrestling Championship.

Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation’s (SSHFC) donations add up to an earlier donation of D10, 000 from the Embassy of China on Taiwan in Banjul.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Muslim cleric Imam Bakawsu detained

Imam Bakawsu Fofana
Gambian outspoken Muslim cleric, Imam Bakawsu Fofana is reportedly arrested on Thursday by officials of the National Intelligence Agency, the NIA, family sources told The Voice newspaper on Sunday.

“Imam Bakawsu Fofana left his home on Thursday 31st May, 2012 to attend a naming ceremony when the NIA came to pick him up and whisked him away along with one of his disciples (Talibe),” the source said. “He is being held at the NIA headquarters in Banjul.”

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gambia start off with vital draw

Pre-match hands shake Gambia vs. Morocco/photo:MSJoof

The Scorpions of the Gambia start off their Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers with a 1-1 home draw against the Atlas Lions of Morocco on Saturday.

Goals from Abdou Jammeh and Houssine Kharja were enough to earn both sides one point.

Mancini blames ‘attention’ in draw against Morocco

Gambia coach Liciano Mancini speaking to journalists/photo:MSJoof

Gambia coach, Luciano Mancini has blamed his players’ lack of attention as the missing thing which earned Morocco a point in the opening of the Brazil 2014 FIFA world cup qualifying rounds.

The Scorpions played a 1-1 draw with the Atlas Lions at the Independence Stadium in Banjul on Saturday, and Mancini, who is satisfied with the results, said concentration was missing when Morocco equalized.

Mustapha Jarju: We wanted a win

Gambia captain Mustapha Jarju speaking to journalists/photo:MSJoof
Gambia’s Scorpions captain, Mustapha Jarju said his side’s principal objective was to secure a win against Morocco’s Atlas Lions in the Saturday opener of the Brazil 2014 world cup qualifying round.

The game ended their Group C match at the Independence Stadium in Banjul with a 1-1 draw on June 2, 2012. 

Eric Gerets hopes Gambia never qualify

Morocco coach Eric Gerets speaking to journalists/photo:MSJoof
He was not expected to say yes, when asked if he thinks Gambia can qualify to the Brazil 2014 FIFA world cup. He responded befittingly with “I hope not.” 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Protests In Egypt Over Mubarak Verdicts

Crowds gather in Tahrir Square in central Cairo
Crowds gather in Tahrir Square in central Cairo

Angry crowds have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, hours after ex-President Hosni Mubarak was jailed for life for his part in the killing of protesters during Egypt's 2011 revolution.

The crowds are furious at the acquittal of key security officials who were on trial alongside Mubarak.