Friday, December 14, 2012

Abdoulie John: The NIA did a professional job

Abdoulie John, the Gambian editor of online paper JollofNews who was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency on Sunday .Photo | BABOUCARR CEESAY 
Rear in our time is for a journalist to hail the dreadful National Intelligence Agency (NIA) – with whom arrests and detentions are the only “cordial relations” for over a decade.

However, Mr. Abdoulie John, an Associated Press correspondent and the Banjul-based editor of the online news site JollofNews has commended the spy agency for “performing their duties professionally” after his subsequent arrest, detention and release
Mr. John was arrested by the NIA on Sunday and detained overnight at their headquarters in Banjul before he was released on Monday December 10, 2012 without charge.
On Tuesday, he told The Voice he was not harassed by the agency while in custody for 24 hours. “They only asked me of what transpired between me and the state house photographer and I explained,” he said. “They kept me at the NIA headquarters for 24 hours and I was released. I was not harassed.”
“I receive a text massage from Rebecca Blackwell, Associated Press West and Central Africa Bureau Editor in Dakar on Friday, December 7 who asked me to meet Mauro Garfalo, the representative of Rome-base Catholic Church community of Sant'Egidio at the Kairaba Beach hotel so as to provide detailed information on the programme,” he explained.
After meeting Maura on Sunday, John said he was asked to board one of the vehicles hired by for the purpose of filming and conducting interviews for Community of Sant'Egidio – to cover the event. 
If not for unnecessary restriction on the media, in progressive countries where the media is free, journalists (independent or pro-government) are allowed to cover public functions.

On Friday, Nov 14, a local newspaper in Banjul reported that John was handed a bail bond of D50,000 after he was called to report at the NIA headquarters.

Source: The Voice

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