- Gambian opposition leader Halifa Sallah has called on the release of journalists detained in the capital Banjul earlier this week.
Gambian authorities nabbed five journalists on Monday after a journalist union's statement criticised President Yahya Jammeh’s comments on the killing of the veteran journalist Deyda Hydara in 2004.
Mr Sallah said a number of journalists detained by the country’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) had been held for more than 24 hours without a charge, saying their detention is in contravention of Gambia’s 1997 Constitution.
He pleaded with the government to respect the constitution by explaining to the detainees why they were arrested. “If they are to be charged, let them charge or release them,” he said.
Local reports said police raided the offices of the Gambian Press Union and arrested journalists after it issued a weekend statement expressing "shock and disappointment" about comments made by the president.
Reports further stated that the police proceeded to The Point newspaper where the first vice president of GPU Mrs Sarata Jabbie Dibba works.
Gambia has been criticised in recent years for its human rights record. It has stringent libel and sedition laws and journalists often find themselves in court.
Mr Hydara, the editor and co-founder of The Point and Gambia correspondent for AFP, was gunned down by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of Banjul on December 2004.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.