9th December 2012
CCG CONDEMNS ARREST OF JOURNALIST ABDOULIE JOHN, DETENTION OF OUSMAN SAIDYKHAN
The Coalition for Change - The Gambia (CCG) condemns the arrest today Sunday, 9th December 2012 of journalist Abdoulie John of AFP and reporter for Jollofnews by Intelligence agents at the Ocean Bay Hotel. John was at the hotel to cover the Gambia Government organized handing over ceremony of 8 Senegalese soldiers (said to have been detained by the MFDC) to the Senegalese authorities.
Prior to his arrest, Abdoulie John was said to have had an open confrontation with state house photographer Sulayman Gassama who asked John why and how he got there.
Earlier yesterday, Saturday, December 8, Ousman Saidy Khan, the younger brother of journalist Abubacarr SaidyKhan[i] (currently out of The Gambia for security threats) was picked up by Police at his family home in Ebo Town Serrekunda, taken to the Kairaba Police Station for interrrogation and later transfered to the Kotu Police Station. He is still under Police custody.
The CCG considers the detention of Ousman Saidy Khan[ii] illegal and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. The Government of The Gambia and its security agencies should do away with their old hand tactics of bullying and manhandling family members of ‘wanted’ individuals or perceived opponents of the state.
The CCG executive also denounces the Gambia Government’s desperate tactics of arrests and harassment of journalists perceived not to tow the Government line and calls for the immediate release of journalist Abdoulie John.
Once again, the CCG expresses utmost concern for the safety of Imam Baba Leigh who still remains in NIA custody…..days after he was picked up by state security agents. We stand in line with the statements of our parent organization CSAG on the arrest of Lawyer Amie Bensouda and continued detention of Imam Baba Leigh.
[iii] Abubacarr Saidy Khan [ii] Ousman Saidy Khan, age, self-employed is a recent high school graduate. Police officers who visited their family compound on 23rd November 2012 requesting for information on the whereabouts of journalist Abubacarr Saidy Khan threatened to arrest his younger brother if they refused to cooperate.