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Gambia: Editor, reporter denied bail, charged

A Gambian editor and a freelance journalist have been denied bail and charged with giving false information to a public officer.The Editor-In-Chief of The Voice newspaper, Musa S Sheriff, and freelance journalist Sainey M.K. Marenah were arrested earlier on Monday and charged by the police over a story titled “19 Green Youths Defect to UDP� published by The Voice in its December 9, 2013 edition.

They have been denied bail and are still being detained at the Sanyang Police Station, Kombo South District of the West Coast Region of The Gambia.

The managing editor of the paper, Modou S Joof, said the officers, who came to the offices of The Voice in Serrekunda on Monday morning, waited for Mr Sheriff who arrived at around 11am.

“They demanded two copies of the paper (of stories titled: “19 Green Youths Defect to UDP� and “Tanji APRC deny 19 Green Youths defection to UDP� Joof said.

Police officers who arrested the duo said they received a directive from the President Yahya Jammeh.

The Voice, a privately-owned newspaper reported UDP claims that supporters of President Jammeh had joined the main opposition party during a gathering outside Banjul.

The paper in a subsequent edition on December 11, 2013, reported that the ruling party had denied the defection, dismissing the claim as a baseless fabrication.

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