Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Article 19 calls for the release of Taranga FM manager

Fatou Jagne Senghor

ARTICLE 19, a London-based human rights organization has call on the Gambian government to release Mr Alagie Ceesay, the manager of Taranga FM, a community radio based in Sinchu Alhagie, Kombo North District.

In a press statement issued yesterday, the regional director of ARTICLE 19 West Africa, Fatou Jagne Senghor said:  “We are disturbed by the disappearance of Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, who has now been missing for ten days without any contact with his family or colleagues.”
According to Ms Senghor Mr Ceesay was picked up on 2 July by plain clothes officers at his residence in Sinchu. She calls on Gambian Authorities to provide information on the whereabouts of Ceesay, and to release him.
“David Kujabi, the Public Relations Officer of Banjul Police Station told ARTICLE 19 that Ceesay is not in police custody and if he was there, they would have allowed family to visit him. Subsequently, the NIA was contacted by ARTICLE 19, but did not provide any response.
From other local sources close to the family, and relatives who spoke to ARTICLE 19, Ceesay is believed to be in NIA custody; there are fears for his safety.

“Ceesay’ disappearance came at a time when the case of Ebrima Manneh, another journalist who disappeared nine years ago is still not elucidated. We call on the authorities to provide information about his whereabouts and ensure his safety and security” Jagne added.

“ARTICLE 19 strongly condemns the violence against journalists and human rights defenders in the Gambia, and the arbitrary violation of the right to liberty of Alagie Abdoulie Cessay.. ARTICLE 19 calls on the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the ACHPR and the UN to take up urgently the matter with the government.”

Taranga is one of the private radio stations that broadcast local news – both in English and local languages - to its audience, something the public seemingly appreciate.
The radio’s regular news programme of reading news published in the local newspapers has attracted growing interest from the public as it serve as the alternative source of news to the state-owned radio, especially for The Gambia’s majority conventionally unlettered people.

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