Justice, News

‘Fugitive’ Gambian Journalist Declared Wanted

Alagie Ceesay
Alagie Ceesay

(JollofNews) – A detained Gambian journalist who fled the west African nation while receiving treatment at a state owned hospital has been declared wanted.

Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, managing editor of the private radio station, Teranga FM, allegedly escaped from the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul where he was being treated for a liver related illness.

He has since resurfaced in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, and is reported to be receiving treatment in an unnamed local hospital.

While Gambian authorities are yet to explain how Mr Ceesay managed to leg it out of the hospital where he was under 24-hour security guard, a media statement read on national television last night said he is wanted and any sighting should be reported to the nearest police station.

News of Mr Ceesay’s escape was first revealed on Thursday by state prosecutors when he failed to appear in court where he is facing sedition charges.

The journalist was also reported murdered in detention with the United Democratic

Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital
Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital

Party member, Solo Sandeng who was reported death by his party. However, the GPU later announced that he was alive and  hospitalized but denied visits.

Mr Ceesay was arrested on 2nd July 2015 by the National Intelligence Agency after he privately shared by phone a picture in which a gun was pointed toward a photograph of President Yahya Jammeh.

The image had been circulating on the internet, and Mr Ceesay was not its author. His radio station, Teranga FM, had been closed down several times over the past years.

During his detention Mr Ceesay has been held ‘incommunicado’ for some time by members of the Gambian security forces. He was held in an unknown location from July 2 to July 13, then released.

He was rearrested on 17th July and detained at the National Intelligence Agency headquarters, which is not an official place of detention, without access to a lawyer or his family.

He was taken before the High Court on August 25 and charged with six counts of sedition under Section 52 of the Gambian Criminal Code and publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm among the public.

Until his disappearance he was held at Mile 2 prison on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul.

In February this year, he was denied bail for the fourth time.

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