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Detained journalists released, charged

Sep 11, 2012, 10:39 AM

Two journalists arrested and detained for reportedly seeking a permit from the police to hold a peaceful demonstration over the recent execution of nine death row inmates, have been charged, the police and the Gambia Press Union have told The Point.

Baboucarr Ceesay, first vice president of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), also working with The Daily News newspaper, and Abubacarr Saidykhan, a freelance journalist, who were arrested on Friday and detained, are charged with “conspiracy to commit a felony”, Gibairu Janneh, Secretary General of the GPU, announced.

The two were arrested after “seeking from the Inspector General of Police a permit to hold a peaceful demonstration from Arch 22 to State House in Banjul,” a police source told The Point on Sunday.

However, Janneh told The Point that the two have been released on police bail of D250, 000 with one Gambian surety, and are to report back to the police on Monday 17th September 2012.

The police public relations officer, Cadet ASP David Kujabi, confirmed that the two journalists were charged, then released on bail.

Meanwhile, the opposition party, the Gambia Moral Congress, GMC, has condemned the arrest and detention of the two journalists.

In a statement issued yesterday and sent to this paper, the GMC said the Constitution of The Gambia establishes the right to peaceful protest and assembly as entrenched provisions.

“In formally applying for permit to hold a peaceful protest, both Mr. Ceesay and Mr. Saidykhan have not only complied fully with the law, but also demonstrated utmost respect for authority as exemplary law-abiding citizens,” the statement signed by party leader Mai Ahmad Fatty said.