Monday, March 25, 2013
A Gambian journalist has gone into hiding for fear of being harmed, disappeared without trace or killed.
Fabakary B. Ceesay, a senior reporter of Foroyaa newspaper who runs a monthly Detention without Trial column on Foroyaa, has escaped unharmed. The column was formerly anchored by Yaya Dampha who also had a similar experience.
Mr. Ceesay’s fleeing resulted after he had been tipped that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) issued a secret warrant for his arrest a day before the kidnapping of a protest-seeking journalist Baboucarr Ceesay.
“I decided to go into hiding for two days before finally fleeing to Senegal,” Mr. Ceesay told Kibaaro News.
The reasons for Fabakary’s arrest were unclear. Kibaaro News’ investigations extracted the chaff from the wind. “Fabakary has been under the NIA radar for so long,” a source confirmed. “The NIA is not at ease with reports on missing people and the court martial proceedings in Yundum Barracks. He was lucky because the initial plan was to pick up anytime he goes to army barracks for the court martial.”
Ceesay has been receiving threats since mid-February this year when he investigated the disappearance of some people in Foni in West Coast Region. The NIA were on Ceesay’s trail soon after interviewing the wife of a disappeared man. The visiting agents demanded to know the whereabouts of Mr. Ceesay who later received tip off that the agents were searching for him. He sought refuge in a friend’s house before he had finally left the Gambia.
Security agents visited Mr. Ceesay’s home and office several times looking for him.
Frontline human rights defenders in the Gambia urged the government to “take all necessary measures to guarantee the security, physical and psychological integrity Fabakary Ceesay. They want the Jammeh regime to guarantee that “all human rights defenders in the Gambia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.”