27 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

POLICE QUESTION STANDARD JOURNALIST

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The story was based on a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2014 and an interview with the police spokesperson, ASP David Kujabi. The TIP Report assesses the global situation of trafficking in persons in each country of the world and published by the US government. In the said story, ASP Kujabi highlighted some “isolated” cases of trafficking that have been reported to the police and said no serious, organised ring was identified in the country. He called for the public to volunteer information and report cases that may occur within their families and communities to the police.

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Recounting his encounter, Sanna Camara wrote: “On Friday evening, I received a call from my boss Sheriff Bojang who said PRO Kujabi wanted me to meet him at the police station to discuss matters arising from my story.  A few minutes later, PRO Kujabi himself called and said, ‘We have a problem’ and that we should meet. At first, I thought he was going to say I misquoted him in my story or something like that.

“Upon my arrival at the Bundung station, I met Kujabi and some detectives from Major Crimes Unit. I was ushered into the CID office, where I spent the next four hours answering questions, writing statements, and signing papers, while the detectives “wait for instructions” on what to do with me. At around 12 midnight, PRO Kujabi walked into the office and reported that instructions came that I should be detained, charged with “publishing false news and broadcasting” and eventually prosecuted. By this time, they have already obtained “a voluntary statement” from me, and prepared a “cautionary statement”, which detailed the above charges. I refused to give any statement on in the absence of my lawyer. So, I was escorted into a cell, where I spent the night. At about 2pm on Saturday, I was released. However, the police have asked that I report to them Monday morning.”

Reacting to the incident, the managing director of The Standard, Sheriff Bojang, said: “There was no need for all this furore. We have a good rapport with the police and we could have sat down and sort out whatever issues they have. I have worked with Sanna for a long time.  He has a good pedigree as a reporter and he is not in the business of misquoting people or writing whatever suits his fancy as some so-called journalists are wont to do.”

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