The Gambia: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Police

Momodou Torp, judicial reporter of The Voice newspaper attached at High Court and Lower Court in Banjul was briefly arrested and handcuff by the Police Intervention Unit (PIU).

MFWA’s sources reported that on May 5, 2016, Torp was on his way to Banjul to cover the case of arrested opposition members when he was stopped at a security check-point near the capital Banjul.

A PIU officer who refused to identify himself asked Torp for his identity card. Torp inquired why it was PIU officers who were checking his identity card instead of immigration officers who are mandated to check identity cards and other documents at such check-points.

Following his question, PIU officers surrounded Torp’s car, insulted him and asked him to get down of the car. When he got out of his car, an officer however handcuffed him, while another said: “you think you can tell us the law, you think we are ordinary people who would asked you an identity card, we have the right to ask for your identity card and if you don’t have it you will be dealt with.”

Torp told the officers he was a journalist going to cover court proceedings and asked for the handcuffs to be removed to enable him show them proof of his identity.

The officers however kept Torp handcuffed until a senior PIU officer arrived on the scene and ordered his men to release the journalist.

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