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Journalist arrested, threatened with death by police officer for trying to cover student protest

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 18 May 2007, Fabakarr Ceesay, a reporter with the pro-opposition bi-weekly "Foroyaa Newspaper", was arrested and threatened by an officer of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), a paramilitary wing of the Gambia Police Force, while covering a student demonstration.

Ceesay was threatened with death and detained for about 45 minutes at the PIU headquarters in Kanifing, a district in Serrekunda, Gambia's largest city, before being released.

An MFWA source reported that the incident occurred when Ceesay sought to cover a student demonstration. The students were protesting the arrest of some of their colleagues.

The source said that, upon realizing that Ceesay was a journalist, a PIU officer arrested him, seized his press card, and threatened him with a gun saying, "We can kill you and nothing will come out of it. . . You journalists are liars and unpatriotic."

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