Police have detained journalist Bakary Manjang at the Police Anti-Crime Unit in Banjulinding after he was summoned on Wednesday for questioning over a trip to Jululung, Casamance. 

Mankajang, a former news presenter at DHK Radio who now runs the online news platform, Mankajang Daily, posted the following on Facebook on September 20, 2023:

“I just received a call from one police officer that I should report to Fajikunda police station now, I don’t know what the matter is but I believe is in connection with my trip to Jululung, Casamance.”

He said he was in Casamance, in southern Senegal where a suspect in the killing of two police officers was arrested to interview people who knew about the arrest of the suspect.

“We are currently in Jululung, Casamance to have an interview with some people who were named in arrests of the prime suspect in connection [with] the recent shooting at Sukuta traffic light(s),” Mankajang announced in another post a day before he was invited for questioning by the Police.

His family, who visited Manjang today (21 Sept) at the Banjulinding police station, said they were refused access to him and sent away by the police with the fruits they bought for him. 

A family member said he saw Mankajang on Thursday morning where he is detained in a cell and spoke to him briefly, and when he went out to buy some fruits for him, he was refused entry upon return and forced by an officer to leave the premises of the Anti-Crime Unit with the fruits.

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) has called on the police to either charge the journalist or release him unconditionally, and respect the legal limit of 72 hours allowed in the law for detention. 

The GPU also urged the police to respect the rights of Gambian citizens to freely receive, impart and express themselves as guaranteed by the 1997 Constitution and the various regional and international human rights laws that have been ratified by the Gambia.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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