Gambian authorities have released from detention Alhagie Manka, a photojournalist documenting the country’s presidential elections, after calls by the country’s press union for him to be charged or be freed.
At least two other journalists, the director of the state broadcast network with a producer and substitute anchor remain in custody. Gambian authorities declined requests from the press union to meet with them.
Manka was freed without any charges and details surrounding his arrest remain unknown. Gambian authorities will not say if there are any conditions to his release.
Rights groups say Gambian authorities hold strong control of the media during the election period. Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh warned poll violence is like “bushfire” that could destroy the country and advocated for peace. Activists say it has little meaning with voter intimidation and stifling of the press taking center stage.