By Godfrey Olukya  19-11-2012

A journalist in Gambia who has been reportedly writing critical stories on the government has received several death threats.

Abubacarr Saidykhan, a freelancer journalist  said that  four unknown people on Tuesday threatened him at his Ebo Town residence in Kanifing Municipality, 11kms from the capital Banjul.

Saidykhan said, ‘I was standing with my brother  when the men drove up in an unmarked vehicle with tinted windows. They threatened to kill me. They later drove off after threatening me.’

He said that he has reported the incident to the police. He however added that he is too threatened to sleep in his house.

The international journalists organization, called ‘Committee to Protect Journalists’ CPJ has requested Gambia government to  ensure the journalist’s safety. It said that it holds authorities in the Gambia responsible for the safety of the journalist who has received death threats following critical coverage of the government.

Saidykhan’s fall out with the regime, according to his colleagues, was due to his writing several critical stories about opposition to President Yahya Jammeh’s decision to execute death row inmates.

An  editor of a local publication  Deyda Hydara, was killed in December 2004. He had reported about death threats to police but it did nothing. Up to now, no one has been arrested by police over his murder.

The relationship between government and journalists in Gambia has not been friendly of late. Several other journalists have had problems with the state.

Even international journalists get the threats from the state. Recently, authorities expelled a BBC correspondent who had come to the Gambia to report on the executions.


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