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Newspaper journalist fired over article on President Jammeh's HIV/AIDS cure

(MFWA/IFEX) - Lamin Dibba, a journalist for the pro-government "Daily Observer" newspaper, was dismissed on 22 June 2007 by management of the media company that owns the paper.

A Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) source indicated that although no reasons were given for the journalist's dismissal, it was apparently linked to a story he wrote in the 19 June edition of the "Daily Observer" titled: "13 cured HIV/AIDS patients discharged."

The source said the company's management was not pleased with the journalist's report, which prompted his dismissal.

This is not the first time Dibba has been dismissed by management over his reporting on claims about President Yahya Jammeh's HIV/AIDS cure. In February, Dibba and another reporter, Ebrima Jaw Manneh, were dismissed by management for not accurately reporting on patients "cured" by President Jammeh. The management interpreted the journalists' motives as an attempt to question President Jammeh's ability to cure the disease. It took the intervention of a Minister of State for the decision to be rescinded (see IFEX alert of 14 February 2007).

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