IFJ Calls for Mobilization Against Arbitrary Detention of Journalist in The Gambia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today calls on human rights organisations worldwide, to mobilise for the release of the journalist Lamin Fatty, who has been arbitrarily detained by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in The Gambia since April 10, 2006.

Lamin Fatty, reporter of The Independent Newspaper was arrested by the Police Intervention Unit. His arrest followed that of Madi Ceesay and Musa SaidyKhan, respectively general manager and editor-in-chief of the same newspaper, which was closed since March 28. Held incommunicado for two weeks, it was only on April 25 that some of Lamin Fatty’s colleagues were able to talk to him.

Upon his release by the NIA, the Managing Director of the newspaper, Madi Ceesay, said he was given the green light by the NIA to resume operations. However, on Tuesday April 27, as the receptionist of the newspaper, Juldeh Sow, reopened the office for normal duties he was briefly arrested and detained by the Police Intervention Unit, who insisted that they have no orders that the Independent newspaper should resume operations.

"Faced with the refusal of the authorities of The Gambia to put an end to their policy of gagging the independent press, we call on all organizations defending human rights and press freedom, and civil society to mobilize and to demand the release of Lamin Fatty, the reopening of The Independent and the end of this repression of the Media in the Gambia" declared Gabriel Baglo, the Director of the Africa Office of the IFJ.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 42

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries