UPDATE: Journalist freed in Gambia

gambia-map

Banjul – Gambian authorities have released without charge a journalist who was being held after he was arrested for a second time since September, he confirmed on Monday.

March 12 2013, 02:05am, IOL News

Baboucarr Ceesay, vice-president of the Gambia Press Union, was picked up by plainclothes officers of the National Intelligence Agency on Friday shortly after leaving his house.

The arrest came after he was held for nearly four days last September for seeking a permit from the police chief to hold a peaceful demonstration over the August execution of nine death row prisoners.

“What the authorities told me was that they are still investigating my case regarding our request for a permit to peacefully demonstrate against the executions last year,” said Ceesay, a correspondent for the Kenya-based website Africareview.com.

A sliver of land nestled within Senegal with a narrow strip of Atlantic coast, Gambia is ruled with an iron fist by President Yahya Jammeh, who is often accused of muzzling journalists, among other rights abuses.

A journalist working for the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency over a month ago and remains in detention. – Sapa-AFP

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Journalist held in Gambia 

Banjul – Gambian authorities have arrested and detained a journalist for the second time since September, family members and the Gambia Press Union said on Sunday.

10 March 2013, Sapa-AFP 

Baboucarr Ceesay, vice-president of the Gambia Press Union, was picked up by plainclothes officers of the National Intelligence Agency on Friday shortly after leaving his house, a relative told reporters.

Ceesay, who is also a correspondent for the Kenya-based website Africareview.com, had been on his way to the headquarters of the Gambia Press Union, the source said. The union confirmed the arrest.

No reason was given for the arrest, which comes after Ceesay was held for nearly four days last September, along with a freelance reporter, for seeking a permit from the country’s police chief to hold a peaceful demonstration over the August execution of nine death row prisoners.

The charges against the reporters of conspiracy to commit a felony and incitement to violence were later dropped.

A sliver of land nestled within Senegal with a narrow strip of Atlantic coast, Gambia is ruled with an iron fist by President Yahya Jammeh, who is often accused of muzzling journalists, among other rights abuses.

A journalist working for the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency over a month ago and remains in detention.

Alagie Jobe is accused of “writing letters on Daily Observer letterhead for Gambian asylum seekers abroad and those within the country applying for visas in return for huge sums of money”, a security source told reporters in February. 

Source: IOL news

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