EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: Following the arrest and detention for questioning of Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, a Political Science Professor at the University of The Gambia by the Police on Wednesday, the office of the country’s Inspector General of Police has released a statement, saying Dr. Ceesay’s comments had a connection with intelligence they were looking into and needed clarification.
He was arrested late Wednesday following an interview he granted to a local Newspaper on the presence of the ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia (ECOMIG).
His arrest and detention was heavily criticised and condemned by Gambians who mounted a social media campaign for his immediate release. On Wednesday evening, people, mainly youth and the Country’s present and past University students assembled at the Country’s State House at the Capital city in Banjul to show their solidarity with Dr. Ceesay and demand for his release.
The police say Dr. Ceesay was interview until 22:00 hours when he was granted self-bail which he declined to accept. Meanwhile, he was arrested early Thursday morning. “The office of the IGP however, wishes to make it clear that it will carry out its functions whenever it has reasonable belief of any circumstance that will amount to a threat to national security,” the statement said.
On Thursday morning shortly after the police release a statement on Dr. Ceesay, Eye Africa TV quoted a tweet from Jim Wormington, a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division, covering West Africa stating that, “Contradiction in #Gambia police letter on #Ceesay arrest. Shouldn’t need “self-bail” if only “invited” to speak to police. Police have the rights to speak informally to a person to gather intelligence – should that person agree – but not to arrest person for exercising free speech.”