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Gambian journalist released without charge


Gambian authorities have released without charge a journalist who was being held after he was arrested for a second time since September, he confirmed on Monday.

Baboucarr Ceesay, vice-president of the Gambia Press Union, was picked up by plain-clothes officers of the National Intelligence Agency on Friday shortly after leaving his house.

The arrest came after he was held for nearly four days last September for seeking a permit from the police chief to hold a peaceful demonstration over the August execution of nine death row prisoners.

"What the authorities told me was that they are still investigating my case regarding our request for a permit to peacefully demonstrate against the executions last year," said Ceesay, a correspondent for the Kenya-based website

A sliver of land nestled within Senegal with a narrow strip of Atlantic coast, Gambia is ruled with an iron fist by President Yahya Jammeh, who is often accused of muzzling journalists, among other rights abuses.

A journalist working for the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency over a month ago and remains in detention.