Gambian authorities detained Thomas Fessy, the West Africa correspondent of BBC World News, for several hours at the capital’s international airport on September 5, 2012, and ordered him to leave the country within 48 hours, the BBC reported. Fessy returned to Senegal on September 7, 2012.
Fessy had obtained a single-entry one-month visa from the Gambian High Commission in Senegal, he told CPJ. He had flown to Gambia from Senegal to report on President Yahya Jammeh’s decision to execute nine death row inmates and interview Gambian citizens about the death penalty, according to news reports. Local and international human rights groups have criticized Jammeh over the executions, according to the same sources.
In a statement sent to CPJ, Jon Williams, BBC’s World News Editor, confirmed that Fessy had “applied for and was given a visa to report from Gambia, but on arrival was denied the required accreditation to report inside the country.”