Gambia ALERT: Two newspaper journalists briefly detained, one charged with sedition

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Abdulhamid Adiomoh and Pa Bajika  Nigerian publisher and  reporter  respectively of Today Newspaper, a privately-owned Banjul-based newspaper were on July 17, 2008 arrested and briefly detained at the Police Headquarters of The Gambian Police Force over a story that the paper published.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that the two were subjected to hours of questioning in relation to a story with photographs of some school children in the Gambia who often abandon their classroom to go in search of metal scraps from a dump site. According to the newspaper, the students would then sell the scrap metals to dealers.

The sources said Bajika who wrote the story was released and asked to report on July 21 together with Adiomoh, who was granted bail in the sum of 20,000 Gambian dalasi (about 952 US$) and one surety. However, when they reported to the police, Adiomoh was charged with a count of publishing with seditious intention.

Adiomoh reportedly told MFWA sources that during the questioning he was warned to be careful about the kinds of news items that the Today Newspaper publishes.

Media Foundation for West Africa