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Second journalist sacked at pro-government newspaper in less than a month

(MFWA/IFEX) - Seedy Bojang, a journalist working for the Banjul-based, pro-government "Daily Observer" newspaper, was on July 9, 2007 dismissed by the newspaper's management.

The reasons for his dismissal are not clear. Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources attributed it to some changes he allegedly made to the caption of a recent editorial in the paper.

The sources quoted the newspaper's managing director, Dr. Saja Taal, as saying he has "the right to sack" any member of his staff whenever he deems it fit.

The sources added that Taal's management style and personal conduct have created an atmosphere of fear and panic among the entire staff of the newspaper.

Taal is a close confidante of President Jammeh and is alleged to be the mastermind behind the arrests and dismissals of several journalists in the country.

Bojang is the second journalist to be sacked in less than a month at the "Daily Observer". Lamin Dibba was sacked for apparently writing a story in the June 19 edition titled "13 cured HIV/AIDS patients discharged". Sources said the management of the company that owns the newspaper was not pleased with his report and dismissed him (see IFEX alert of 4 July 2007).

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