Thursday, September 20, 2012

Police add “sedition” to journalist charge

Mr. Baboucarr Ceesay (L) and Abubacarr Saidykhan are accused of conspiring to commit felony: PHOTO/Daily News
Gambia police have added “seditious intention” to a charge of “conspiracy to commit felony” against Gambian journalist Baboucarr Ceesay on Wednesday.
Ceesay, a 1st vice president of the Gambia Press Union, and Abubacarr Saidykhan, a freelancer, were charged last week with conspiracy to commit felony after they applied for a permit to peacefully protest against the execution of death row inmates by the Jammeh government.

The new charge brought against Ceesay by the police is said to be in connection to an article he authored on the Africa Review, an online medium of the Nairobi-based Nations Media Group. The police did not name the article in question.

As we continue to report at the Police Headquarters in Banjul following our granting of bail by the police officers working at the Interpol, my colleague Baboucarr Ceesay the first vice President of GPU is slapped with an additional charge "Seditious Intention" contrary to section 51 of the Criminal Code Cap 10 Vol. Laws of the Gambia 2009,” revealed Saidykhan.

“According to the Police, they add the said charge because of an article Mr Ceesay published on Africa Review website where he works as a correspondent. But they did not specify which article is this,” he added.

The Voice newspaper understands no additional charges are brought against journalist Abubacarr Saidykhan as of now. It is not clear if he will face more charges at the moment. 

“Upon our arrival at the station today, the officers argued that we the accused person Saidykhan & Ceesay must call our sureties to come and renew our bail bond or else they will be oblige to detain us,” the journalists reveal. “After arguing our case, they agreed to our request that we have to go home but told to return back to the station on Thursday 20th September 2012 for a renewal of bail bond.”

As they explained: “Already on our way going home, a call came through Mr Saidyhkan's cell phone asking the duo to immediately report back to the station as it is an order from their superiors that we have to manage and call our sureties to come to the station and renew our bail bond which was done accordingly.” 

"This is the new procedure Messrs Saidykhan and Ceesay," said one Mr. Sillah. Mr. Sillah is understood to have been newly appointed at the Interpol Unit of the Gambia Police Force in Banjul to take charge of the case.  “We have to report to the Police Station on Friday 21st September 2012,” they said.

Source: The Voice

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