BANJUL, Gambia, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Six journalists, all members of the Gambia Press Union, were released after being sentenced on sedition charges in August, Reporters without Borders said.
The journalists were released Thursday from Mile Two and Mile Jeshwang prisons after being pardoned by Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, Reporters without Borders said Friday in a release.
"The happy ending must not be allowed to eclipse the injustice these six leading journalists suffered," Reporters Without Borders said. "Despite being innocent, they spent a month in prison, far from their families and, in some cases, at a danger to their lives because of poor health."
The journalists were freed after the Gambia's state television station GRTS quoted the president's office as saying they were "pardoned." Reporters Without Borders was told Jammeh's reason for the pardon was to mark the Muslim observance of Ramadan.
The journalists were convicted on charges ranging from defamation to "seditious publication" for issuing a joint statement on behalf of the Gambia Press Union calling on Jammeh to recognize his government's responsibility for journalist Deyda Hydara's death in 2004.