Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gambian online editor arrested by NIA released

Abdoulie John, the Gambian editor of online paper JollofNews who was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency on Sunday .Photo | BABOUCARR CEESAY 
Mr. Abdoulie John, the Gambia-based editor of a Gambian-owned online news site JollofNews, has been released from detention on Monday following his arrest by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on Sunday, December 9, 2012.
Mr. John was attending a ceremony in the troubled southern Senegalese region of Casamance on the release of eight Senegalese prisoners’ who were held by separates rebels 200kilometers from a Gambian border-village of Tamba Kunda.

He was arrested after having a confrontation with a State House photographer who wanted to know who invited John to the occasion, according to media reports. 

Media reports said John; also a correspondent of the Associated Press (AP) was briefly detained at the Sibanor Police Station in the Foni district, West Coast region of The Gambia before being taken to the NIA headquarters in Banjul, The Gambian capital.

His website, JollofNews accuses The Gambia government of being “back to its penchant of gagging the media” in reaction to the ordeal of their Banjul-based editor.

John has told The North Bank Evening Standard he was released on Monday afternoon from NIA custody without charge.  

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church's Sant'Egidio community, a mediator in the Casamance conflict, said in a statement that the Movement for the Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) released eight prisoners (7 soldiers and a firefighter) as a first positive result from renewed peace talks “seeking to end a 30 year low-intensity conflict in the Casamance region”.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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