Cut off

Published: Tuesday 15 August 2006

Rule by silencing: Yahya Jamme Elections Gambia

The President of Gambia expects to win the approaching general election, but he has already extracted a high price. Yahya Jammeh seized power in a coup in 1994, and in 1996 transformed his dictatorship into a nominally civilian administration, winning an apparently fair election in 2001. But he owes his 53 per cent majority to a rigorous censorship of the opposition.

The ministry of communications closely monitors The Observer, the only remaining broadsheet. Previously there was another broadsheet, but in March the government closed The Gambia News and imprisonned its editor, Madi Ceesay, for three weeks. Radio stations attempting to translate their programmes have also been closed.

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