Gambia: Senegal Detains GRTS Camera Crew And Producer Ebrima Baldeh; Crew Questioned And Released!


Senegalese security officials on Tuesday, detained a camera crew from The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) after the crew were caught shooting videos and taking pictures within Senegalese territory, without official permission, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The head of the crew, GRTS’S  senior producer Ebrima Baldeh, and his cameraman, one Saihou Jammeh, were apprehended by the Senegalese army around Selity. Selity, is a Senegalese border village situated in the Southern Province of Casamance. It is along The Gambia/Senegal border.

The arrest of the GRTS crew occurred between the hours 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM Gambian time on Tuesday. The men were immediately processed and detained for hours before their subsequent release from custody.

According to competent sources, Ebrima Baldeh, left his GRTS offices on Tuesday, accompanied by his cameraman Saihou Jammeh to ascertain the veracity of the reopening of the Senegalese border. Sources said Mr. Baldeh and his team started filming and taking pictures as soon as they entered the Senegalese border village of Selity. It was during the process of their unauthorized activities that the camera crew got busted by the Senegalese security agents.

When questioned about their activities in the area, Ebrima Baldeh told the Senegalese security agents that they were assigned to cover the reopening of the border. Baldeh admitted that they also embarked on filming and taking pictures without official permission from Senegal.

Mr. Baldeh, and his crew’s cellular phones and cameras were immediately seized during the hours long interrogation. The video containing his coverage of the border reopening was deleted. The pictures they took while in Selity, were also deleted from their cellular phones.

The Senegalese army later called for reinforcement while Baldeh and co were being processed. A reinforcement team arrived at the station.

Thanks to the timely intervention of some Gambian security operatives posted in Gjiboro , on the other side of The Gambian border, the GRTS crew were released. Ebrima Baldeh and his crew were about to be handed to the Senegalese Gendarmerie, when the Gambian security agents arrived at Selity. The Gambian security agents pleaded with their Senegalese colleagues to set free the detainees, and they agreed. Baldeh and co were seriously warned not to embark on such illegal filming of Senegalese territory without official permission. The men were subsequently released from custody.

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

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