Editor Bah Honoured         Management Member Sey  Editor M’Bai

Sulayman Bah  Associate Editor Jawara   Late Deyda Hydara
Manager                                                                         was murdered by Jammeh’s Gov’t

Dr.Taal Enemy    Yahya Jammeh  Interior Minister Sonko
 of  Freedom           wants Freedom    An Enemy of Freedom
Newspaper              staffers murdered

The exiled Freedom Newspaper Editor, cum Daily Observer News Editor Omar Bah has for the first time spoken since he escaped from the hands of trigger happy Gambian soldiers, who conducted a nationwide search possibly to take his life if arrested. Bah in a dispatch to this leading paper, thanked the management of the Freedom Newspaper for naming him the paper’s  journalist of the year 2006. Mr.Bah was targeted for execution by the Gambian state for his ties with the Freedom Newspaper, a website critical of the Jammeh government. Bah who vowed to keep the struggle despite the state’s failed attempts to take his life was declared wanted by the Gambian Government both on state radio and television on the eve of the Freedom Newspaper hacking case, which led to the arrest and torture of the paper’s subscribers. The Government in a bid to demonstrate that it means business if it ever lays its hands on Editor Bah warns the Gambian public to desist from harbouring or concealing information regarding Omar Bah’s whereabouts. It also threatens to arrest and charged individuals harbouring the journalist. Below is Omar Bah’s statement. Please read on…

For publication!

Dear Editor M’bai,
I am both amazed and proud at the prestigious award the management of Freedom Newspaper has bestowed on me. To me, it is an award to all Gambian journalists and those in the wagon set for the emancipation of the Gambian people from the claws of otiose and erstwhile dictatorship and chronic human rights abuse. I emphasis hereby that this is re-dedicated to every one of us. The struggle continues!

I use this opportunity to thank all those who stood by me, the Freedom Newspaper and all those who faced persecution during the infamous hacking of the paper by NIA personnel.
Mr. M’bai, please convey a few words of wisdom to our general readership and the Gambian people at large – the worst that can happen to a dictatorship is the status quo in the Gambian media circle. Kill one Deyda, scores of more Deydas will emerge; attempt to kill one Omar Bah and force him into exile, scores of more Omar Bahs will pick up the pen to keep up the struggle with him. So what is the wise way? Tolerance, democracy and the rule of law!
I also use this opportunity to thank all the players in the new alternative for freedom of expression in The Gambia – the online newspapers, for a job well done.
Mr. M’bai, despite the unhidden knowledge of the continued persecution and harassment of our two families back home and those of many other Gambian brothers and sisters in the struggle for press freedom and human rights, we as unwavering journalists will continue the struggle to the very end.

I wish a happy new year to every Gambian and call on every Gambian to celebrate the award with me.
Omar Bah

Reacting to Bah’s statement, Freedom Newspaper Editor Pa Nderry M’Bai said “Omar Bah was denied the right to practice his journalistic profession by the Gambian state. Having worked for the Daily Observer and the Freedom Newspaper Bah faces all kind of persecution from the state. He was a potential target for execution by the government if arrested. Even though, he is out of the country, his pictures and personal information and that of the staffers of Freedom are passed to various security agencies across the country for our immediate arrest and subsequent killing if ever spotted in the Gambia. We honoured Omar Bah as journalist of the year based on his commitment and dedication to duty. Bah had taken numerous risk to serve this paper.We thought that this was the only way we can register our appreciation for his valuable services to this paper.”

Mr.M’Bai added that Bah was not only a true colleague but also very close to his family.”My relationship with Omar Bah was beyond professional line. He knows my family and I also knew his family. We rejoice together during the time of pain and pleasure. Bah is a brother and also a true colleague committed to his work. He put personal aggrandizement aside to serve his country  faithfully and sincerely. Bah is one of those genuine Gambians who are ready to put their lives on the line to pursue the truth.”

According to Editor M’Bai, Omar Bah suffered arrest,torture and all kinds of persecution from the Gambian security services over the years.”Bah deserves such an award. This paper would be awarding deserving journalists on a yearly basis based on their input and dedication to duty. There is a special board set up to decide winners of such awards. We look forward the day when Bah would be here at Freedom to formally receive the prestigious award. We urge Gambian journalists to keep up the good work and never give up. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 (Archive on Tuesday, February 27, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI


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1 user commented in " Breaking News:Award Winning Journalist Omar Bah Breaks The Silence! "

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bah pulo said,
in July 6th, 2009 at 10:39 am

Hi editor mbai thank you for informing our gambian and every reader intrested in the gambia about this happening back home.more blessing to omar bah for his untiring struggles.me brother you tried hard bro.BRAVO

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