See also:
» 16.02.2010 - Gambia expels UNICEF envoy
» 07.01.2010 - Kenya deports controversial Muslim cleric
» 19.11.2009 - Gambian president withdraws from Commonwealth meeting
» 08.07.2009 - CPJ calls on Gambia to end media hostilities
» 04.06.2008 - IMF hails Gambia's economic stability
» 20.03.2007 - Gambian President says he hates firing spree
» 15.12.2006 - Gambian President tells citizens "Forgive me"
» 18.05.2004 - Economy, governance "far off track" in The Gambia

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Opposition leader calls for the release of journos

afrol News, 18 June - 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.

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