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State drops charges against two journalists, GPU welcomes move

Oct 24, 2012, 9:53 AM | Article By: Baboucarr Senghore

The state have finally decided to drop the criminal charges against journalists Abubacarr Saidykhan and Babucarr Ceesay, who were arrested and detained by the police after they applied for a permit to hold a peaceful protest, police sources and the Gambia Press Union (GPU) said Tuesday.

Ceesay, first vice president of the GPU and Saidykhan, a freelance journalist, were arrested on 6th September and released on bail on 10th September, after they were charged with incitement of violence and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Baboucarr Ceesay was later charged with sedition over an article he allegedly authored for Africa Review, a Kenya-based online newspaper.

Though they never appeared before any court, the two journalists were asked to report regularly to the police.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Gambia Press Union, which welcomed the move, said “the duo informed the Union that they were on Tuesday, 23 October 2012, at the State Law Complex in Banjul, told by the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lamin Jobarteh, that the Gambian leader has ordered that the charges against them be dropped by the State.

“While acknowledging this positive move by the Gambian authorities, we wish to seize this opportunity to call on the Gambia Government to also consider reversing its decision and allow the publishers of The Standard and Daily News newspapers to resume publication,” the Union said.

The Gambia Press Union also implored the authorities in Banjul to allow Taranga FM to resume broadcasting.