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Two journalists banned from covering court proceedings

(MFWA/IFEX) - Yai Dibba and Abdoulie Njokey, both journalists with "The Point", an independent Banjul-based newspaper, were on 27 March 2008 banned from covering proceedings in the Brikama Magistrates Court.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources in The Gambia reported that the ban followed an accusation from Magistrate E.F. Mbaye who alleged that the two journalists were erroneous in their covering of court proceedings.

Mbaye said that the two journalists consistently misquoted the court, and ordered Dibba, who was present at the time, to leave the premises immediately or be charged with contempt of court. He added that the two reporters would be denied access to the court in the future.

Dibba and Njokey denied the accusations made by Mbaye and claimed that the misquotes in question only consisted of one minor typographical error, to the effect that a particular case had been adjourned "seven times" instead of the official "several times".

The sources hinted that the actions of Mbaye could be related to his dislike of the journalists' reports on the magistrate's use of delaying tactics in court cases.

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