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Police detain Nigerian publisher again, search his house, confiscate his residency permit

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 11 August 2008, Abdulhamid Adiomoh, the Nigerian publisher and editor of "Today", a privately-owned, Banjul-based newspaper, was arrested again and detained overnight at the Serious Crime Unit of the Gambian Police Force in the capital city, Banjul. Adiomoh was arrested previously in July and accused by the police of "publishing with seditious intentions".

MFWA sources reported that Adiamoh, who has been staying in the Gambia for the past 10 years, was interrogated over his status as a foreigner in the country before being released on bail on 12 August.

The sources said Adiamoh's release followed the intervention of the Gambian Press Union (GPU). Since his release, he has been reporting regularly to the police.

According to the same sources, Adiamoh's house was searched and his residence permit confiscated by plain-clothed police officers who stormed his house on the day of his arrest.

The police said the re-arrest and subsequent detention of the journalist forms part of their investigation into his ongoing case.

On 21 July, Adiamoh was charged by the police for allegedly publishing an article with "seditious intentions". He and one of his reporters, Pa Bajika, were arrested and detained on 17 July over a story and photograph that the "Today" newspaper published about some Gambian school children who often abandoned school and dealt in metal scraps.

After this first arrest, the editor was granted bail in the sum of 20,000 Gambian dalasi (approx. US$952) and one surety, and was required to report to the police twice a week.

The Gambia Press Union's (GPU), President, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, has confirmed the second arrest and detention of the journalist to MFWA and has stated that she believes the journalist is being "harassed and intimidated".

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