He said he is being held “for no obvious reasons”.
“I have valid travel documents and I have not been told why I am detained,” Kandeh told FPI at 8am Thursday via phone.
He was being held for more than two hours at the time, while on on his way to Banjul. His phone number: +22361102106 is now unreachable.
In a 1 minute conversation, Kandeh said he wanted his plight known for the simple reason that he committed no crime.
Mali is a member of the sub-regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, which has a Protocol that allows for the free movement of people. Respect for and the implementation of this Protocol has been somewhat loose in member states.
FPI condemns his detention in the strongest terms and urges for his immediate and unconditional release.
“The Malian authorities should respect the provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol which provides for the free movement of ECOWAS citizens within the sub-region. They should release Mr. Kandeh immediately,” said FPI’s news editor Modou S. Joof.
“We are concerned about his safety – bearing in mind the instability in that part of Mali.”
Kandeh is FPI‘s Editor-In-Chief, The Gambia-based contributor for Global Voices Online, the publisher of The Gambia News Waves and a former deputy editor at Today Newspaper.
On Wednesday, the Mali government and rebel groups begin meetings in Algiers to map out a peace agreement, 12 months after the country return to democracy. But its northern region continues to be plagued by violent clashes and suicide attacks.