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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Gov’t reassures right to freedom of expression Police say they will act whenever necessary

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The Government of The Gambia yesterday issued a press release acknowledging that Dr Ismaila Ceesay, a political science lecturer at the University of The Gambia was invited by the police for questioning on Wednesday over comments in an interview granted to a local newspaper issue of the same day.
The release issued by Director of Information Services Aisha Davies on behalf of Information Minister Demba Jawo, stated that Dr Ceesay who was subsequently released the same evening following questioning on security related issues he referred to in the newspaper interview preferred to spend the night at the Police Headquarters, insisting that he needed to wait to talk to his lawyer.

“While soliciting the understanding of the general public in such matters, the Government wishes to reassure Gambian citizens and non-Gambians resident in the country that their fundamental rights to free expression as enshrined in the Constitution will be respected,” the statement added.

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Police
In a related development, the Office of the Inspector General yesterday also issued a press statement clarifying police actions in the Dr Ceesay affair. The release issued by police spokesman Superintendent David Kujabi noted: “The Police in the execution of its duty on 31 January 2018 invited Dr Ismaila Ceesay to Police Headquarters for questioning over statements he made that were published on the Wednesday 31 January 2018 edition of The Voice newspaper. Comments he made there had connection with intelligence that the police were looking into and needed clarifications.

“Dr Ceesay was interviewed until 22:00 hours when he was granted self-bail which he declined to accept. Meanwhile, Dr Ceesay has been released unconditionally. The Office of IGP however, wishes to make it clear that it will carry out its functions whenever it has reasonable belief of any circumstance that would amount to a threat to national security.”

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