22 June 2011

The Gambia UPDATE: Missing ex-minister found, treason charges preferred against him and three others

Dr Amadou Scattered Janneh, a detained former Minister of Information and Communication and three others have been charged with treason for allegedly distributing anti-Jammeh materials, demanding an end to the authoritarian rule of President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia. 

Dr Janneh, an outspoken former minister went missing after his arrest on June 7, 2011. He was picked-up by plainclothes security agents who, without explanation, sealed off his offices, dismissed his staff.  Dr. Janneh was whisked towards Banjul, the capital to an unknown location.
On June 13, 2001, he was seen publicly for the first time after his arrest. This was when he appeared before the Banjul Magistrate’s court together with three others. All the four persons are being tried on charges relating to sedition and treasonable offences.
The three- two Gambians, Modou Keita and Ebrima Jallow and a Nigerian citizen Michael C. Ucheh Thomas, were also arrested and held  incommunicado at  an undisclosed location on the same day that Dr. Janneh was arrested. They have since been remanded in prison custody to reappear at a High Court, as the magistrate court does not have the jurisdiction to hear treason cases.
The charges stemmed from the four allegedly printing and distributing t-shirts of Gambian political pressure groups, Coalition for Change, which is calling for an ‘End to Dictatorship Now’ in The Gambia
This is not the time in 2011 (an election year) that the authorities have arrested Gambian citizens for exercising their political rights. On March 7, two family members of Mai Fatty, an exiled leader of the opposition Gambian Moral Congress (GMC) party, were detained by the Gambian police over the display of photographs of Fatty and other GMC campaign materials at their family home in the Upper River Administrative Division of the Gambia.

MFWA views this as a deliberate attempt to scuttle the election and entrench the authoritarian regime of President Jammeh in office. In 2006, they used similar method when they launched another phase of their systematic clampdown of journalists and political opponents to deny Gambians free and fair elections.
For more information Please contact:
Kwame Karikari (Prof)
Executive Director
Tel: 233-30-22 4 24 70
Fax: 233-302-22 10 84

No comments:

Post a Comment