The IFJ Calls on The Gambia to Stop Harassment of a Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has vigorously

condemned the permanent harassment of a journalist in The Gambia, who is

obliged since December 10, to report every week for questioning at the National

Intelligence Agency (NIA).

 

“This continuous harassment and a moral torture of Abdoulie John must

stop. As journalist he was just doing his job. Authorities must end these never

ending interrogations of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and let

journalist Abdoulie John work freely,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa

Director.  

 

Abdoulie John, editor of an online newspaper, Joloff News, and Associated Press’s

stringer in The Gambia was arrested on Sunday 9 December 2012 by security

forces on the order of the NIA after a confrontation with President Yaya

Jammeh’s personal photographer, Sulaylan Gassama who reportedly insisted on knowing who

had invited John to the ceremony.

 

The incident took place in the Gambian village of

Tambakunda where John was covering the handing over of eight Senegalese

soldiers released after a 14-month detention by the rebels in the South

Casamance region. The NIA Director ordered security forces to arrest the

journalist who was later released on bail

of 1500 US dollars on December 10 and asked to report to the NIA every week.

His passport was  kept and he has been asked

to hand over his laptop and mobile phones.

 

The IFJ denounces the fact that the investigation has taken another

dimension with investigators willing to charge the journalist by all means. “Our

colleague is in grave danger in a country where independent reporting is seen

as a sin by authorities. We support him and have kept an eye on his security”,

added Baglo.

 

For more information, please contact IFJ:  +221 33 867 95 86

The IFJ represents over 600.000 journalists in 134 countries