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World Press Freedom Day 2020 – Portraits of Gambian Journalists

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World Press Freedom Day 2020 During Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh’s rule from 1994-2016 the Gambian press suffered mercilessly at his hands. Journalists were gunned down, disappeared, tortured, and threatened. Media houses shuttered and radio stations burned to the ground. But stalwart voices kept the flame alive, speaking truth to power. _ As part of our long-term documentation of ‘Gambia-Victims & Resisters’ of the Jammeh regime, here are some portraits of those who fell foul of regime, but kept fighting. _ 1.Lamin Fatty – Independent Newspaper, “I went through hell. It was horrible. I was electrocuted. They took me out of my cell to the backyard where they’d dig a hole, and buried me half way, and shoved a gun in my mouth and threaten to kill me”. – 2. Honorable Madi M.K Ceesay – journalist and National Assembly Member. “I was tortured twice by the Jammeh’s team with the use of wires, gun butts as well as using an electrical device…” – 3. Malick Mboob – Daily Observer, arrested in 2006 “I was beaten with sticks, military boots and they beat me mercilessly – and I was crying for help and bleeding profusely,” recalls Mboob “They eventually stopped beating me when I pretended I was dead.” – – 4. Mr Pa Modou Faal and six other journalists were arrested in 2009 by the former regime in connection to reaction press release issued by the Gambia Press Union about former President Yahya Jammeh’s remarks about the slain journalist Deyda Hydara- murdered by Jammeh’s hit squad in a drive-by shooting. – – 5. Pap Saine – The Point, In 2010, Saine was named a World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute. Saine described the award as a morale-booster and "an inspiration for journalists who are fighting for freedom of the press and the interests of justice, democracy and human rights not only in the Gambia but in all of Africa". I 6. Threatening messages sent to Taranga Radio journalist , Alagie Ceesay. _ _ #Portraits4PositiveChange #worldpressfreedomday2020 #GambiaPressUnion #yahyajammeh #Jammeh2Justice #theGambia #AmnestyInternational #HumanRightsWatch #CPJ #committeetoprotectjournalists #deydahydara #westafricajournalist #reduxpictures #reduxreps

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Instagram: World Press Freedom Day – Portraits of Gambian Journalists ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone woman sits in a bed looking at her phone by a window overlooking the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image © Jason Florio, March 2020, UK
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Taking time to (self) isolate with HJF, in the UK. JF

But if you could just see the beauty,

These things I could never describe,

These pleasures a wayward distraction,

This is my one lucky prize.

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The Gambia – victims and resisters of a former regime

The Gambia – victims and resisters of a former regime © Jason Florio with Helen Jones-Florio

This week in The Gambia we have been continuing our long term project documenting the Victims & Resisters of the former Yahya Jammeh regime.

#Portraits4PositiveChange



It never gets any easier listening to their stories (3+ years in, with this ongoing multimedia series), but their strength only emboldens us to continue to create a photographic and video archive – a tool for advocacy, learning, historical record and hopefully reconciliation.

#Jammeh2Justice

A special thanks to Nana-Jo Ndow, and Fily Nyabally at ANEKED for their support, over the last couple of weeks.

Watch ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’ – Director & Producer, Nana Jo-Ndow/ANEKED; Director of Photography, Jason Florio

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See more of Jason Florio’s documentary film work on his website

February 2020 – Currently in The Gambia, West Africa

Assignment queries and image licensing – Contact here

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