Gambia has charged a journalist accusing him of leading a protest over a disputed land and unlawfully using banners, according to security sources.
Local sports journalist, Baboucarr Sey was arrested on Friday night and indicted on at least four charges by the police.
According to a criminal complaint yet to be filed in court, Sey faces charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, assembly without a permit, destruction of private property and unlawful use of banner.
“The land in question was a state land that was illegally and surreptitiously transferred to KMC and then to Global Properties that then colluded with KMC and Swami India International that benefited from a 99-year sub-lease at less than D6,000 dalasis,” said economist, Sidi Sanneh.
Activists are calling for his immediate release and accusing the government of arresting him over reports he made covering tensions and protests that followed the attempted takeover of the land by Global Properties.
The Gambia’s government and the press union are on the path to media reform. The government has conceded that the country’s internet and defamation laws are unconstitutional.
Gambia’s former government stifled media freedom through a combination of criminal prosecutions, physical intimidation, censorship.