The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has vigorously condemned the permanent harassment of a journalist in The Gambia, who is obliged since December 10, to report every week for questioning at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
"This continuous harassment and a moral torture of Abdoulie John must stop. As journalist he was just doing his job. Authorities must end these never ending interrogations of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and let journalist Abdoulie John work freely," said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.
Abdoulie John, editor of an online newspaper, Joloff News, and Associated Press's stringer in The Gambia was arrested on Sunday 9 December 2012 by security forces on the order of the NIA after a confrontation with President Yaya Jammeh's personal photographer, Sulaylan Gassama who reportedly insisted on knowing who had invited John to the ceremony.
The incident took place in the Gambian village of Tambakunda where John was covering the handing over of eight Senegalese soldiers released after a 14-month detention by the rebels in the South Casamance region.
The NIA Director ordered security forces to arrest the journalist who was later released on bail of 1500 US dollars on December 10 and asked to report to the NIA every week. His passport was kept and he has been asked to hand over his laptop and mobile phones.
The IFJ denounces the fact that the investigation has taken another dimension with investigators willing to charge the journalist by all means. "Our colleague is in grave danger in a country where independent reporting is seen as a sin by authorities. We support him and have kept an eye on his security", added Baglo.
For more information, please contact IFJ: +221 33 867 95 86