8 October 2012

Gambia: Three Media Houses Still Closed

Three media houses, Taranga FM, Daily News and The Standard have remained closed since their closure in 14 August in the case of Taranga FM and 14 September in the case of Daily News and The Standard.

According to the proprietors no reason or explanation has yet been given for the closure.

Mr Madi Ceesay, the publisher of Daily News told this reporter that the situation is still the same, meaning that no explanation has been given by the authorities regarding the closure of their newspaper. He further said that management has made several efforts to get the reason(s) for the closure of the newspaper from the authorities but to avail.

Mr Ceesay told this reporter that they had visited National Intelligence Agency (NIA) offices because the very people who came and ordered them to close are personnel of the NIA but no reason has been obtained from them regarding the closure. He added that they wrote to the office of the president after several visits without response but their letter has not been replied to.

Regarding the way forward, Mr Ceesay noted that management is working on the way forward and once they are ready the press will be informed accordingly. "It will be premature to say anything as of now."

This reporter also spoke to the proprietor of Taranga FM, Mr Ismaila Ceesay, who said that the situation is still the same. However, he added that the Imams in the area, numbering thirty, have written to the president and negotiations are ongoing from that angle.

Attempts to reach the Managing Director of The Standard have not been successful, but this reporter is reliably informed that they are still closed.

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