Editorial: Alagie Jobe Deputy editor in Chief of Daily Observer’s case is no different

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alhagie-jobeGainako is deeply disturbed about the ongoing trial of deputy editor of the Daily Observer Alagie Jobe on seditious charges of false publication against one Major Lamin Touray on the daily observer. Although we disagree with the Daily Observer positions and overtures to the government, we are obliged to defend Alagi’s right as a Journalist to publish stories he deems news worthy. The allegations in court that he was tortured and beaten to the extend that he could not write his statement is deeply disturbing.

Readers may recalled that Alagie was charged with five counts of alleged malicious publication of false information. Additional charges were added as stated below:

The particulars stated that Alhagie Jobe sometime between the year 2012 and 2013 at the Daily Observer Company in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of The Gambia, did an act with seditious intention to wit: published in a purported Daily Observer newspaper of the 19th December 2012 edition, a false story that ‘Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and code by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people’ and thereby committed an offence.

On count two, the first accused is charged with Seditious Publication contrary to Section 52(1) (c) of the Laws of The Gambia.

The particulars of offence stated that Alhagie Jobe, sometime between 2012 and 2013 at the Daily Observer Company in the Kanifing Municipality of the Republic of The Gambia, published a seditious publication on a purported Daily Observer newspaper of the 19th December 2012 edition to wit: that ‘Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrested and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and codes, by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people’ and thereby committed an offence.

On count three, the first accused is charged with being in possession of seditious publication contrary to Section 52(2) of the Laws of The Gambia. The particulars of offence revealed that Alhagie Jobe, sometime between the year 2012 and 2013 at the Daily Observer newspaper company in the Kanifing Municipality and other various places in The Gambia, without lawful excuse had in his possession a seditious publication, and thereby committed an offence.

The online press largely seems to ignore this story but it is our strong conviction that Alagie is no different from many other journalists who worked for the Daily Observer including its runaway editor Pa Malick Faye… We are therefore closely monitoring Alagi’s trials and his denial of bail is unjustified and cruel. Alagie regardless of his alleged crimes deserves a fair treatment and bail. His ordeal is similar to what other Journalists went through in Gambia and we must all be concerned about the overall implications of torturing Journalists to submit to state wishes…

We call for Alagie’s immediate bailing and his right to fair trial and condemn his torture as an act of barbarism and inhumane treatment… Amnesty International, Media foundations and any concern media houses and human rights groups must closely monitor this case and call for transparency… We will defend his right to free speech regardless of our disagreements!!! Injustice anywhere is Injustice everywhere!!!

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