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Monday, 07 January 2013 22:06(JollofNews) – Gambia’s secret police, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), has detained the Gambian editor of Jollof News, Abdoulie John.
Mr John was detained on Monday after reporting to the NIA in a protracted case that started in December, when he was initially detained following a quarrel with a State House cameraman.
John is also the Banjul stringer of the Associated Press (AP), which had assigned him to cover the release of Senegalese soldiers captured by rebels in the southern Senegalese region of Cassamence, where he was first detained.
The cameraman, Sulayman Gassama, wanted him out of the occasion where the function was being held. The altercation between them prompted the Director General of the NIA to order the journalist`s detention.
An ensuing worldwide condemnation forced his subsequent release.
However, just days later, John was again invited to the NIA, where he was told, to his surprise, that he’d been granted a bail, even though he was never charged with any crime.
The journalist has since been reporting to the NIA office almost daily.
Recently, he was told by investigators that he should take along his cell phone and laptop, even though these equipment have nothing to do with what he was being investigated for.
John, prior to reporting on Monday, had ruled out abiding by that order, saying they had “nothing to do with the fracas that ensued between State House’s photographer and me,” he noted in an email to the Gambia Press Union Lawyer, Lamin Camara, and copied to the editorial team of JollofNews.
John was accompanied to the NIA on Monday by GPU official, Lamin Jahateh.
Jahateh said he waited for three hours outside the offices where John had been taken into by the agents, until after working hours, without him exiting.
He said when he asked other NIA officers they told him that “they saw John being taken away by a group of NIA officers.”
JollofNews made several calls on the journalist’s phone before reaching his sister, who confirmed that John had not returned after reporting at the NIA.
Later in the evening, GPU president, Emil Touray, confirmed the arrest of the journalist.
But Mr Touray promised that the Union will do everything to secure his release.
Written by JollofNews
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