Gambia: arrest and investigation of Internet Without Borders' correspondent, an intolerable attack against press freedom



On Friday 27th June 2014, the police in Banjul, the Gambian capital, summoned one of Internet Without Borders correspondents in the country, Sanna Camara, who was first in police custody and then released on bail before being investigated for "false publication". Internet Without Borders denounces an intolerable attack against press freedom.



Sanna Camara, correspondent of Internet Without Borders in Gambia, announced on his Facebook page on 28th June 2014 that he was summoned by the police the previous day, to explain an article he had written on human trafficking in this neighbouring country of Senegal.

The story [here ], for which he is being investigated, was published on 27th June 2014. In the story, the journalist takes stock of the human trafficking and its handling in The Gambia, and quoted the spokesperson of the national police. According to Aisha Dabo, a Gambian journalist based in Dakar, whom Internet Without Borders had interviewed here, Sanna Camara risks a minimum six months in prison and a US$105,000 fine (about EUR80,000). Sanna posted the following message on his Facebook page on Saturday 28th June:

« I have been invited by the Police for questioning yesterday evening around 7:00pm, in relation to a story wrote and published on The Standard newspaper (www.standard.gm). This is about Human Trafficking in Gambia. I spent the night in a cell at Bundung Police in the company of mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats, plus bandits. Oh, what a sleepless night. Apparently, someone higher up wasn't happy with this story and had instructed the Police to arrest, detain and prosecute me. I have been granted bail today at around 2pm, and asked to report at Major Crimes Unit, Police Headquarters, Banjul on Monday. However, they are seriously considering to charge me with "false publication". »

Sanna Camara had published on Internet Without Borders' website an article about the blocking in The Gambia of VoIP services, such as Skype and Viber. His work and his voice are necessary to inform us of what is happening in The Gambia, a small country in West Africa, ranked among the worst countries for press freedom (155th out of 180 countries in 2014), according to Reporters Sans Frontières.

A "false publication" is a vague concept which cannot justify the fact that the fundamental freedom of movement of a citizen is jeopardised. Journalism is not a crime. Internet Without Borders denounces an intolerable attack against press freedom and calls for all charges that could be brought against Sanna Camara to be dropped, and he fully regains his freedom of movement, and the freedom to keep us informed.


Mercredi 2 Juillet 2014
Julie Owono
Head of Africa Desk @ Internet Sans Frontières En savoir plus sur cet auteur






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