International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today condemned the arbitrary
arrest and detention of Abdoulie John, a Gambian journalist who was reportedly
held by national security officers yesterday.
seriously concerned for the physical safety of Abdoulie and urge the Gambian
authorities to first indicate where he is detained and immediately release him,”
said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director. “We insist on knowing the place of his
detention because his arrest reminds us of the case of Chief Ebrimah Manneh who
disappeared in 2006 in similar circumstances. We will hold authorities in The
Gambia entirely responsible for our colleague’s life,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ
independent sources in The Gambia, Abdoulie John, editor of a website, Joloff
news, wasarrested on Sunday 9 December by security forces on the
order of the National Intelligence Agency after a confrontation with President Yaya
Jammeh’s personal photographer, Sulaylan Gassama.
Reports say that
the incident took place in a Gambian village where John was covering a ceremony
in which eight Senegalese soldiers were released after a 14-month detention
with the rebels in the South Casamance region. Gassama reportedly
insisted on knowing who had invited John to the ceremony.
The reporter is
said to have referred him to the organizer but later the director of the
National Intelligence Agency Director ordered security forces to arrest the
journalist. He was put in a military pick-up and taken to a police station from
where he is believed to have been transferred to Banjul.
The IFJ says
that John’s arrest is arbitrary and blatant intimidation of a journalist who
had the right to cover a public event.
fits the pattern of ruthless repression of independent reporting in Gambia
where harassment, torture and killings of journalists are common since President
Jammeh came to power,” added Baglo. “Our colleague is in grave danger and the
international community must raise the alarm before it is too late.”
information, please contact IFJ: +221 33 867 95 86
The IFJ represents over 600.000
journalists in 134 countries