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Two journalists arrested, held incommunicado

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 9 September 2007, Mam Sait Ceesay, a former editor of the pro-government Banjul-based daily "Daily Observer", and Malick Jones, a journalist with the state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), were arrested and detained by the Gambian Police Force.

MFWA sources reported that, although no official reasons have been assigned for the arrest and subsequent detention of the two journalists, the action may be due to an article published in the 7 September edition of the "Daily Observer" which alleged that Ebrima JT Kujabi, President Yahya Jammeh's press secretary, had been replaced. Ceesay and Jones were alleged to have passed on "false information" to Ousman Darboe of the "Daily Observer" for publication.

The newspaper retracted the story and published an apology.

MFWA's sources reported that Dr. Saja Taal, managing director of the "Daily Observer" and close confidante of President Jammeh, was questioned by the police over the same story.

The journalists are being held incommunicado in two separate locations. Ceesay is detained at the police headquarters in Banjul, while Jones is held at Kairaba Police Station in Serrekunda, Gambia's largest city.

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