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GAMBIA: I WAS DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO SAYS BAKARY MANKAJANG

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Bakary Mankajang, a journalist and social media influencer who was questioned by the police and detained incommunicado for three days before being charged with interfering with witnesses, claims he was denied food, water, and access to a lawyer during his detention at the Police Anti-Crime Unit.

Mankajang, who has more than 70,000 followers on TikTok, was summoned for interrogation on Thursday, following his return from Diololou, Casamance, where he conducted interviews in relation to the arrest of the chief suspect in the assassination of police officers.

Since he went to the Faji Kunda Police Station, his whereabouts were unknown until Friday afternoon, when a family member verified seeing him in custody at the Banjulinding Anti-Crime offices.

Mankajang told The Standard yesterday, “I was not questioned about anything when I arrived at the Faji Kunda station on Thursday.” I was taken to the Anti-Crime offices after being informed that the investigating team was located there. When I arrived, to my dismay, they did not ask me any questions. I heard only officers stating that I should be kept incommunicado. And they proceeded to shut me up in a confinement. They provided neither breakfast nor lunch nor supper. They did not permit anyone to see me or communicate with me.”

Mankajang responded that there was no mention of his interviews and the police did not request to view them when he was asked what the police wanted to know from him and about his alleged interviews.

When asked if he was also cautioned against publishing his interviews on his platform, he stated that the authorities had not provided him with such instructions.

“They only arrived [Saturday] to take my statement, and I told them I needed to consult with my attorneys. After conducting the necessary consultations, I informed them that I would not write a statement or remark on the matter, and that if they so desired, we could meet in court. Therefore, I fled. “However, they seized my travel documents and instructed me to report today [Monday].”

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