CPJ calls on The Gambia to free journalist

11 Aug

The Committee to Protect Journalists has written a letter to Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to express its concern about a journalist who has been held by the National Intelligence Agency since July 17. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, manager of the independent radio station Taranga FM, was charged with “seditious intention” and refused bail.

According to news reports and a relative of the journalist who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, Ceesay was forced into a car in Banjul, the capital, on July 17. His family member told CPJ the journalist was then brought to his family’s home by a group of men he identified to relatives as NIA agents. The group searched the house and took Ceesay with them when they left. They did not disclose what they were looking for, the relative said.

On August 5, Ceesay was charged with “seditious intention” for allegedly distributing pictures that authorities said were designed to “raise discontent, hatred, or disaffection among the inhabitants of the Gambia,” according to news reports.

Ceesay was detained just four days after he had been  held for almost two weeks by individuals suspected of being government agents, according to a family member and news reports. After he was freed, Ceesay said he was subjected to abuse and moved between several unknown locations, according to news reports  that cited him.

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