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17.01.2007 General News

Detained Journalist Seen After 188 Days

By Times Reporter
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Chief Ebrima B Manneh, a journalist working with the Daily Observer, a pro- government daily newspaper was on January 12, 2007 seen for the first time, since his arrest by National Intelligence Agency (NIA) more than six months ago. Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources say he is being held at a police cell in Fatoto, the last major border town in the east of the country, about five hundred (500) kilometeres from Banjul. Manneh’s arrest took place barely a week after the African Union (AU) Heads of State summit in Banjul, on July 11, 2006, when he was alleged to have passed on damaging information to a foreign journalist prior to the event.

A statement signed by Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director (MFWA) in Accra, said until Manneh was seen at the Fatoto police cells, his whereabouts had remained unknown.

Even though the NIA and other security agencies denied holding him, MFWA sources had insisted that, Manneh’s colleagues witnessed his arrest by plainclothes officers of NIA at the Daily Observer’s premises and that was the last time he was seen or heard of.

On November 11, 2006, the MFWA in a statement asked the NIA to admit having custody of him. At the beginning of this year, the NIA released all detainees, they say were in their custody without Manneh. MFWA sources however said Manneh and others were transferred to other parts of the country.

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