The Point (Banjul)

Gambia: Our Prayer for the New Year

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One thing we would like to reiterate is the fact that we, as journalists, have always seen ourselves as partners in development and nothing else because, after all, this country belongs to all of us.

We pray that our colleague Chief Ebrima Manneh, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 2006, will come out of nowhere this year to our eternal joy.

We pray that those who take pleasure in harassing or killing journalists around the world would see the value of our work and leave us alone.

We pray that Allah should give us, journalists, the strength to stand up for what is right, regardless of persecution right, left and centre.

We pray that the enemies of press freedom would not die through strange ailments, but would live long enough to see the better society that journalists relentlessly crusade for.

We pray that the killers of Deyda Hydara would be brought to justice this year. We pray that, wherever his killers are hiding, let them be exposed and punished in accordance with the laws of The Gambia.

We pray that those who disagree with journalists would not resort to the gun, but to the pen. We offer the right of reply to any aggrieved person.

We pray that our journalistic values of truth, objectivity and balance will make a difference in the New Year.

We call on President Yahya Jammeh to extend an amnesty to those who might have offended him and up to now remain in detention, for the sake of national unity.

Gambians would also like to see the rule of law given pride of place in the spirit of good governance.

In this case, due process must be followed at all times so that human rights are always seen to be respected.

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