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Former minister missing following arrest by security agents

(MFWA/IFEX) - Dr. Amadou Scattered Janneh, who recently criticized disappearances and attacks on the media, was on June 7, 2011 arrested by plainclothes security agents at his office in Serrekunda, The Gambia's largest town.

More than 72 hours after his arrest, the whereabouts of Janneh, a former Minister of Information, Communication and Information Technology, are still unknown. No reasons have been given for his arrest and subsequent detention.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s sources reported that Janneh was picked up at about 10:00 a.m. GMT by plainclothes security agents who, without explanation, sealed off his offices, dismissed his staff and drove him away in the direction of Banjul, the capital.

Janneh, an ICT professional, was dismissed from the regime of President Yahya Jammeh as Minister on July 6, 2005 after serving as a Minister from April 4, 2004. He then set up his own communications and information technology company, Commit Company Limited, of which he is the Chief Executive Officer.

Sources say Dr. Janneh has recently been giving lectures on a wide range of issues in The Gambia. He was a guest at the World Press Freedom Day event in Banjul on May 3. On May 25, he addressed a public forum at the University of The Gambia as part of celebrations marking African Liberation Day. On this occasion, the outspoken former minister condemned frequent disappearances in the country and the hacking and blocking of websites of online Gambian newspapers.

In another development, the case of Dodou Sanneh, a former reporter with The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) who is being tried for giving "false information to a public officer", has been adjourned to June 13 by the Banjul Magistrate's Court. According to the court, the adjournment will enable it to write to colleagues of Sanneh at GRTS who have been identified by the police as prosecution witnesses. The sources said Sainey Joof, the prosecutor, had told the court that the witnesses were unwilling to testify against Sanneh.

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