22 November 2013

Gambia Alert - Newspaper Employee Detained for 'Insulting' President Jammeh

press release

Mass Kah, a messenger at the privately-owned Foroyaa newspaper was on November 14, 2013, arrested by police over allegations of denigrating and insulting Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh.

The MFWA's sources in the country reported Kah was having a discussion with a friend in front of his home in Serekunda when two supporters of President Jammeh confronted him about his comments and reported him to the police.

In the said discussion, Kah reportedly said Halifa Sallah, who is the leader of the opposition People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, was "the only man who wears trousers in The Gambia". According to MFWA's sources the statement was understood as meaning Sallah was more capable of leading the country than President Jammeh.

He was arrested and detained without any charge at Serekunda police station where he was subjected to fierce interrogations and insults by police officers before being transferred to Kotu police station, about 13 kilometers southwest of the capital, Banjul.

He is currently in the custody of the National Intelligence Agency in Banjul and has been denied access to family and friends during the past 6 days he has been in detention.

Meanwhile the Managing Editor of the Foroyaa newspaper, Sam Sarr, has said all attempts to meet with the officer in charge of Kah's case to secure bail for him has proven futile. He said if securing bail failed, his newspaper will resort to taking legal action against the State.

The MFWA condemns the continuous detention of Kah and demands his immediate release. We call on the Gambian authorities to respect Section 19 of the country's constitution which states that a person shall not be detained for more than 72 hours without either being granted bail or charged for court.

Copyright © 2013 Media Foundation for West Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.