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Two detained journalists charged, released on bail, re-arrested

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 12 September 2007, Mam Sait Ceesay, a former editor of the pro-government Banjul-based "Daily Observer" newspaper, and journalist Malick Jones, of the state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), were re-arrested by Gambian police and detained at the Mile 2 Central Prisons on the outskirt of Banjul, after being granted bail by the court.

Earlier on the same day, the two journalists were arraigned before the Banjul Magistrates' Court and charged with "passing information to a foreign journalist, contrary to Section 4 of the Official Secret Act of the Laws of The Gambia."

The court, presided over by Magistrate B.Y. Camara, later granted them bail in the sum of 200,000 Dalasi (approx. US$9500).

On 9 September, Ceesay and Jones were arrested and held incommunicado in two separate locations by the Gambian Police Force. They were alleged to have passed on "false information" to Ousman Darboe of the "Daily Observer" for publication.

The pro-government newspaper published in its 7 September edition an article that claimed that Ebrima JT Kujabi, President Yahya Jammeh's press secretary, had been replaced.

The newspaper has since retracted the story and published an apology.

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