The managing director the Gambian Radio Station Teranga FM, Alagie Abdoulaye
Ceesay, was taken on 2 July by two men and since then his whereabouts are unknown.
Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay is the managing director of Teranga FM an independent Gambian radio station which has been targeted in the past for airing discussions critical of Gambian politics. He was at his house in West Coast region in the Sinchu Alagie area with his family on 2 July preparing to break the Ramadhan fast after sunset when a family friend dropped by and informed him that there were two men looking for him at the Teranga FM office.
Alagie’s friend accompanied him to the office not too far from his house. The two men waiting outside the office building asked to speak to Alagie alone and after a brief discussion between the three men, Alagie was led into the back of a black Mishubishi Pajero with tinted windows and no plates, and then taken away.
Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay’s brother called him a few minutes later after arriving at the radio station’s office and learning about what had happened to his brother. Alagie answered the phone but was only able to say, “Get in contact with the Gambian Press Union (GPU)” before the phone went off. No one has heard from Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay since then and there has been no information about his whereabouts.
Members of GPU together with Alagie’s brother filed a report at Old Yudum Police Station the following day at around 1pm. Later the same day, a cousin of Alagie went to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul seeking to know where his cousin was because the two men who took him, though in plain clothes, were thought to be from the agency. The NIA denied any involvement in the abduction of Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay.
Amnesty International is concerned about the safety of Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay. Journalists, human rights defenders and members of the opposition in Gambia face serious restrictions on their freedom of expression and have been subjected to enforced disappearance and other forms of intimidation and harassment.
Please write immediately in English or your own language:
Urging the Gambian authorities to immediately order a full and impartial investigation into the abduction of Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay and make every effort to establish his whereabouts;
Insisting that if he is in custody, authorities must immediately disclose his place of detention and promptly charge him with an offence consistent with international human rights law or else release him;
Calling on them to ensure that journalists, human rights defenders and activists can carry out their work without fear of retaliation, threats, intimidation and interference.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 21 AUGUST 2015 TO:
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ms.Mama Fatima Singhateh
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General Chambers
Salutation: Dear Minister
Chief Officer of the Old Yundum Police Station
Old Yundum Police station
Yundum West Coast Division
Salutation: Dear Police Chief Officer
Minister of Information and
Mr. Sheriff Bojang
Ministry of Information and
Grts Building, MDI Roas, Kanifing,
Fax: + 220 437 8029
Salutation: Dear Minister
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
WHEREABOUTS OF RADIO DIRECTOR UNKNOWN
Journalists, human rights defenders, and real or perceived political opponents in the Gambia are at risk of arbitrary arrest, detention and even enforced disappearances.
In December 2004, Deyda Hydara, the former president of GPU and editor of The Point newspaper, was shot and killed in his car while travelling home from work. The murder came on the anniversary of the establishment of The Point, and three days after a controversial media legislation, which Deyda Hydara had vociferously opposed, had been passed. No investigation into the killing has taken place and no one has been brought to justice.
In July 2006, Ebrima Manneh, a Gambian journalist, was arrested and subjected to enforced disappearance. His whereabouts still remain unknown. In 2008, the ECOWAS Court ordered the Gambian government to release him from unlawful detention and pay him compensation, but the judgment has yet to be enforced.
Issued by Amnesty International