Charges of conspiracy and incitement to violence leveled at two Gambian journalists by the authorities have been dropped according to the country’s press union.
Vice president of the Gambia Press Union, Baboucarr Ceesay and freelance journalist, Abubacarr Saidykhan were arrested on September 10 and detained for nearly four days after they tried to gain permission to hold a peaceful protest against the recent execution of nine death row prisoners.
The journalists informed the union that the charges had been dropped on Tuesday, according to a statement.
The statement added: "While acknowledging this positive move by the Gambian authorities, we wish to seize this opportunity to call on the Gambia government to also consider reversing its decision and allow the publishers of the Standard and Daily News newspapers to resume publication.”
Both publications had been shut down by the Gambian National Intelligence Agency following the journalists’ arrest.
Gambia’s government, ruled by President Yahya Jammeh, has come in for strong criticism over its abuses of press freedom and human rights in the past.
In August, a community radio station was closed down for refusing to stop reviewing Gambia’s private press and the country’s press laws have come in for much criticism from media rights oganisations.