Aboulaye Sey, the editor-in-chief of the bi-weekly "Independent" newspaper who was picked up on Friday, September 19, and detained incommunicado until late Monday, September 22, has alleged that personnel of the National Intelligence Agency threatened to kill him if he continued to write critical stories against the Yahyah Jammeh government.
Sey was, indeed, incarcerated at the NIA detention centre in Banjul, in spite of earlier denials by officials of the NIA about knowing his whereabouts.
According to Mr Sey, he was tortured and made to sleep on the bare floor in a small cell infested with mosquitoes. The NIA agents also interrogated him about an article carried in the September 19 edition of the "Independent" newspaper, captioned, "Jammeh under the Microscope", which was considered critical of the President and government.
On Friday September 19, 2003 Abdoulie Sey, editor-in-chief of the bi-weekly Independent newspaper, was "arrested" by plainclothes security agents in Banjul, capital of The Gambia.
In May last year, the Gambian National Assembly (which has only three members from the opposition) passed into law, the widely discredited National Media Commission (NMC) Act, No 7 of 2002. The Act confers wide-ranging powers of sanction and closure, including provisions to register media houses and media practitioners, and to penalize, fine, suspend and even sentence journalists to terms of imprisonment.
No official charge has been brought against him.