#Article (Archive)

Take Them to Court or Release Them

Jun 18, 2009, 9:44 AM

Charles Montesquieu said, "Freedom is the right to do whatever the laws permit."

We are dismayed at the continued detention of seven Gambian respected journalists who were called for questioning at the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) since Monday and since then held without any official information as to the reason(s) of their detention.

If they have committed any wrongdoings that were in conflict with the laws and ethics of the profession, we expect the authorities to resort to the laws of the land.

As Section 19 subsection (2) of the constitution clearly states that "any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within three hours, in a language he or she understands, of the reasons for his or her arrest or detention and of his or her right to consult a legal practitioner".

Interestingly, as of now, no official charges have been brought against the journalists and no official information was made available to this paper as to the reason(s) for their continuous detention.

People may only be held for 72 hours before charges must be brought against them, the country's constitution stipulates. They should be brought before the law courts or released immediately.


"All we can do is to uphold the laws, all of us, without allowing the memory of justice to fade."

J.M. Coetzee

Read Other Articles In Article (Archive)