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Gambian journalist goes missing after another is released from prison

Pa Sulay Jadama, a freelance photojournalist, who was arrested by officers of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), has finally been released on June 26, 2013, after spending six days incommunicado.

Jadama was picked up on June 20 by the NIA for taking photographs of the ex-attorney general, Lamin Jobarteh and the ex-solicitor general, Pa Harry Jammeh, as they were being ushered into the premises of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

The NIA has, however, confiscated the data card which was in Jadama's camera and ordered him to keep mute about his detention.

Prior to his release, there were concerns about his whereabouts and safety, as the NIA consistently denied custody of him whenever his father visited the NIA to inquire of his whereabout.

The MFWA entreats the Gambian authorities to cease these extrajudicial arrests and detentions, which contradict provisions of the Gambian Constitution, specifically Article 19 which protects citizens from arbitrary arrests and detentions beyond 72 hours.

In another development, the news editor of the pro-government Daily Observer, Assan Sallah, has reportedly gone missing since June 26, 2013. According to the MFWA sources in The Gambia, unconfirmed reports indicate that Sallah might have fled into exile to avoid imminent arrest and torture by the NIA or had been arrested by the NIA.

According to the sources, relatives of Sallah explained that suspicious persons and vehicles have been noticed around Sallah's residence for some days now.

The MFWA is monitoring the incident to establish whether it is linked to Sallah's work with the pro-government daily, as reports suggests that the newspaper's management were under state-influence to sack him as news editor.

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