The Gambia ALERT: Former minister missing after being arrested by plain-clothes security agents
June 10, 2011
Dr. Amadou Scattered Janneh, who recently criticized the disappearance of people and attacks on the media, was on June 7, 2011 arrested by plain-clothes security agents at his office in Serrekunda, The Gambia's largest town.
More than 72 hours after his arrest, the whereabouts of Janneh, a former Minister of Information, Communication and Information Technology, are still not known. No reasons have been assigned for his arrest and subsequent detention.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s sources reported that Janneh was picked up at about 10 hours GMT by plain clothes security agents who, without explanation, sealed off his offices, dismissed his staff members and drove him away in the direction of Banjul, the capital.
Janneh, an ICT professional, was dismissed from the regime of President Yahya Jammeh as Minister on July 6, 2005 after serving as a Minister from April 4, 2004. He then set up a communication and information technology enterprise,Commit Company Limited, of which he is the Chief Executive Officer.
The sources said Dr. Janneh has recently been giving lectures on a wide range of issues in the Gambia. He was a guest at the World Press Freedom Day event in Banjul on May 3. On May 25, he addressed a public forum at the University of The Gambia to mark the celebration of African Liberation Day. On this occasion, the outspoken former Minister condemned the frequent disappearance of people and the hacking or blocking of websites of online Gambian newspapers.
In another development, the case of Dodou Sanneh, a former reporter of The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) who is being tried for allegedly giving “false information” to a public officer, has been adjourned to June 13 by the Banjul Magistrate’s Court. According to the court, the adjournment will enable it to write to colleagues of Sanneh atGRTS who have been identified by the police as prosecution witnesses. The sources said Sainey Joof, the prosecutor, had told the court that the witnesses were unwilling to testify against Sanneh.