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Attacks on the Press in 1997 - The Gambia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1998
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - The Gambia, February 1998, available at: [accessed 22 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The government of Col. Yahya Jammeh renewed its assault on the independent press by continuing its pattern of attacks, detentions, and forced repatriation of non-Gambian media workers. Under Jammeh, who first took power in a military coup in 1994 and was elected president in 1996 in an election that was widely regarded as flawed and unfair, the country has no domestic television service, and radio news is censored.

In 1997, the cost of licenses to operate private radio stations were increased from 12,000 dalasi to 25,000 dalasi (US$1,200-$2,500).

The passage of arbitrary laws, such as the 1996 Newspaper Decrees #70 and #71, which massively increased the fine for any contravention of the Newspaper Act and the sum required as a bond for the registration of all existing newspapers by 100 percent, has aided in dismantling the democratic tradition of the Gambia, producing ever-increasing difficulties for journalists.

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