ITUC OnLine – June 23, 2009(1)

Gambia: Arrest and Detention of Trade Union Leaders and Journalists
 
Brussels, 23 June 2009 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC, together with ITUC–Africa and the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), has strongly protested at the arrests and subsequent detention of a number of union leaders and journalists by the Gambian authorities.
 
According to information that the ITUC received from its Regional Branch Office in Africa and the FAJ, Mr. Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, Mr. Emil Touray and Mr. Pa Modou Faal, respectively vice president, secretary general and treasurer of the Gambian Press Union (GPU), have been harassed and detained by the Gambian National Intelligence Agency (NIA) while several journalists were also arrested.
 
“We cannot accept these anti-union actions,” declared Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary. “This is another worrying development after too many arbitrary arrests and detentions, death threats, acts of intimidation and surveillance visits perpetrated by the Gambian authorities,” he added.
 
In a letter sent to the authorities, the ITUC urges the Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, to urgently take all necessary measures to ensure the release of the arrested trade unionists and journalists and to protect freedom of expression in the Gambia.
 
The ITUC represents 170 million workers in 312 affiliated national organisations from 157 countries.
 
For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018