President Yahya Jammeh
c/o Embassy of The Gambia
1155 15th Street, NW
Suite 1000, Washington DC 20005
Dear President Yahya Jammeh,
We are a group of journalists from 13 countries completing a year of study at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
During the year, the Gambian government repeatedly was identified in discussions as a violator of press freedom and freedom of expression. The respected Committee to Protect Journalists has declared on its Web site that your government’s “brutal repression of the press and other independent voices made a mockery of democracy.”
The detention of Ms. Fatou Jaw Manneh, who returned from exile to The Gambia after her father’s death, worsened the general perception of your government as callous and insensitive to basic human rights. The inability of journalists to operate freely in The Gambia further damages your nation’s reputation.
We call on you to restore press freedom and freedom of expression in The Gambia and to allow your exiled countrymen and women to contribute to your nation’s future.
for the 69th Nieman Class at Harvard University
Bob Giles, Curator of the Nieman Foundation