Thursday, July 23, 2009

PRESIDENT YAHRYA Jammeh has succeeded in turning Gambia into a burial place for human rights.

Over the years, Journalists and Ghanaians staying in Gambia have disappeared, been murdered or arrested and detained for no apparent reason.

Lots of Journalists have escaped into exile and those living in the country are practicing self-censorship as means of preventing arrests.

Yahya Jammeh, President of Gambia, is a disgrace to Africa as a whole. Press freedom is just not visible in that country. He claims he will stay in power for over 1,000years. Many Gambians believe their president will never be defeated through elections.

It was very difficult to believe that these inhuman atrocities were going on in African until a Journalist from Gambia came out to bravely confirm the whole story and added that what the world knew under rated.

He also gave instance where Journalists including Deyda Hydara (a critic of the Jammeh’s administration) and Omar Barrrow were shot and killed by security agents.

He also added that others had been arrested and detained incommunicado for long periods without charge and those who are charged were not given fair trials by the courts.

Chief Ebrima Manneh, a reporter of a pro- government Daily Observer, was arrested on April10,2006 by the notoriously feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and up till now, the government denied holding him and has not made any effort to find his whereabouts despite an eyewitness accounts of his arrest at the newspaper's premises in Gambia.

Credit to:
Other Journalist including Lamin Fatty, a Journalist was convicted for publishing “false information” and until his conviction, he was held for 63 days without court order or charge. When he could not immediately pay the fine imposed on him by the court, he was detained again.

The publisher of Foroyaa, Halifa Sallah, who was invited by the NIA to post a bail bond for Journalists arrested for defaming Jammeh, was detained overnight and released without charge. All these facts were brought to light willingly by the Journalist for Gambia.

Innocent citizens, according to the Journalist, are accused for being witches and wizards and arrested for coming out after hearing loud drum beats.

“The drumming is alleged to attract witches and wizards who are fighting against the government,” he explained.

After all these inhuman activities, our African leaders sit with him and allow him to be a member of the African Union and yet do nothing about the current situation.

He continued to say that foreigners also have their fair share of the abuse. Forty four were allegedly murdered out of fifty arrested Ghanaian and were killed by Gambian soldiers who claimed they thought the Ghanaian migrants were hired insurgents brought into the country to topple President Jammeh.

This issue give fellow Journalists around the world a very important duty to monitor the affairs of Journalists in Gambia and also make sure this human abuse and blood sheared is stop.
How can a fellow normal human being do such thing to other humans in the name of power? Journalist, lets fight this mad man with our pens.


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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).


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