Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

After a Long Legal Wrangle, Foroyaa’s Bai Mass Kah is Free at Last

September 10, 2014
Reads :1658
Bai Mass Kah

Bai Mass Kah

Mr.Bai Mass Kah an employee of Foroyaa newspaper who was tried for sedition was on Tuesday 9th of September 2014 acquitted and discharged after a long legal wrangle. It was on Wednesday 27th of November 2013 that Bai Mass Kah was arraigned before a court of law after being held for 13 days at the notorious NIA and various police stations within the Greater Banjul area without charge.

Mr. Kah was later charged for uttering a statement against the photo of the president of the Gambia. According to the particulars of offence, Bai Mass Kah told an AFPRC supporter who was pasting the photo of president Jammeh on a car that “why not you paste the photo of the president on the sky”. The prosecution indicated that he committed an offense by uttering such a statement as it could lead to hatred, disaffection and disrespect on the person of the president.

The Foroyaa employee pleaded not guilty to the charges and went through a trial that lasted for 10 months.In delivering her judgement magistrate Aji Amie Jagne ruled that  the statement said to be uttered by Bai Mass Kah does not amount to sedition as it could not bring hatred, disaffection and disrespect to the person of the president. She also hinted that what the charge sheet stated was a far cry from the evidence of the witnesses of the prosecution. As such she decided to acquit and discharge Bai Mass Kah.

The government of the Gambia is criticized by rights groups for suppressing divergent views and prosecuting political opponents based on very flimsy charges. The independent media houses operate on a very hostile environment and has to employ self censorship to avoid meaningless legal battles. But the acquittal and discharge of Bai Mass Kah shows that some magistrates and judges especially native ones have conscience and would not bend the law to  nourish the ego of the country’s dictator.

GAMBIA’S LION, PRESIDENT JAMMEH, HAS ACQUIRED A NEW JEWEL FOR HIS ABATTOIR

September 10, 2014
Reads :5430
HELEN MAROUN-JAMMEH'S NEW JEWEL

HELEN MAROUN-JAMMEH’S NEW JEWEL

BAROKA JAMMEH-GAMBIA'S LION

BAROKA JAMMEH-GAMBIA’S LION

Anyone remembers “The Lion and The Jewel” by Wole Soyinka? Well, here is its synopsis: The main theme of the play reflects contrasts, old versus young and culture versus change. The story revolts around Sidi-the village belle and her thespian ‘relationship’ with Lakunle, the school teacher. Lakunle is wooing Sidi but snubs to pay the dowry which he deemed as archaic. Soyinka craftily contrasts Lakunle with Baroka, the lion, who is the village chief. Sidi considers Lakunle as a misfit with a verbose mouth and Baroka as a challenge.

In the Gambian imitation of ‘The Lion and The Jewel’, Bala Gaye 2, a Senegalese wrestler is Lakunle, Hele Maroun, a beauty queen and niece to Gambia’s legendary tycoon-Paul Maroun is Sidi and of course Jammeh steps in for Baroka. Oop…Oop…Baroka! Woaw! Hope he is not going to officiate that as one of his many titles. Let see how it goes…His Excellency Dr Professor Alhagie Nasiru Deen Baroka Babili Mansa President of the second Republic of the Gambia Yahya AJJ Jammeh. Burry Batchily, Bala Gaye’s first wife unlike Sadiku refused to acknowledge her husband’s marriage to Helen Maroun which makes it hard for Bala to fulfil his marital obligation with the Banjul Belle.

Sensing a rift between the young couple, Jammeh wasted no time in warming his way into unsuspecting Helen’s heart and mind. First he hired her to manage his Muslim Shop which was under KGI. The Muslim Shop, which also oversees Jammeh’s butchery outlets, was initially ran by Wareh Njie, the ex-wife of former ADC Bajinka. When Helen took over the management of the shop, he bought her a new PAJERO to cruise her from the shop to Jammeh’s slaughter house. A source who is privy to all Jammeh’s underworld deals informed Kibaaro News that Jammeh told Helen “You are not this boy’s class. You are a Presidential wife material and not a wrestler’s wife”. Bad boy Jammeh or 50 Cent as his crew fondly dubs him lavishes Helen with heavy purse to spend as and when she likes.

Since their new found love blooms, President Jammeh snubs Bala Gaye 2, his onetime friend. The source went on to add that he does not invite Bala anymore to any of his programmes in which Bala has always been a special guest accentuating an overzealous protection of his new jewel. Imam Fatty what does Islam teaches about a married man going after another man’s wife?

Wareh Njie now heads KGI. Jammeh is said to have paid off all her debts with First International bank, a new car and $10,000 to start with a clean slate as Managing Director of KGI. She is a buddy to Sabally’s wife and both were employees of FIB.

LAWYER OUSAINOU DARBOE HAS QUESTIONED THE WISDOM OF PRESIDENT JAMMEH’S UNENDING TITLES.

September 6, 2014
Reads :10428
LAWYER DARBOE-THE PEOPLE'S LEADER

LAWYER DARBOE-THE PEOPLE’S LEADER

JAMMEH-THE SHEIKH WHO CANNOT RECITE FATHIHA

JAMMEH-THE SHEIKH WHO CANNOT RECITE FATHIHA

Speaking in an interview with The Standard at his Pipeline home, the veteran opposition who is banned from standing in the 2016 elections due to legal fetters said: “I did not know the president was being renamed Sheikh Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh Nasiru Deen Babili Mansa and why I was not invited to attend the renaming ceremony. I do not see any genuine reason for all those accolades to be added to his name. I went to Mecca at the same time with Yahya Jammeh in 2000 but I never added to my name the title Alhaji. Great leaders like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu received many honorary awards but never called themselves professor or doctor. I am called Lawyer Darboe because I worked for it with bachelors’ degree in law. I also did my bar to become a lawyer and did a master’s degree programme in legislative drafting, the first to do so in this country so I deserved the name. And what has he done to be given the title of Babil Mansa? It is certainly not for building a bridge at Janjangbureh which cannot even be called sea but a bolong. For him to deserve the title Babili Mansa let him go and build a bridge between Barra and Banjul then he will deserve the title. You cannot build a bridge across a small distance and insist on calling it sea…

“The late Imam Karamo Touray of Brikama and the likes of Ba-Kawsu Fofana, Al-Haiba Hydara and Baba Leigh were all arrested and detained by his regime. Jawara had been in power for thirty years and the Supreme Islamic Council was here but they never used to go on tour with him. What was the Supreme Islamic Council doing following the president on a tour of the country? I think the Supreme Islamic Council president should explain to us what they are doing now. I think Momodou Lamin Touray has to go back to Gunjur and think whether he is following the footsteps of his alleged teacher, the late Hatab Bojang. As the alleged successor to Hatab Bojang and a scholar from Gunjur which has produced great people like Ismaila Manjang and late Omar Bun Jeng I do not think he is following the footsteps of Hatab Bojang. It is high time the Supreme Islamic Council looked at its functions.”

Reacting to Darboe’s allegations, APRC national mobiliser and KMC Mayor Yankuba Colley stated: “It seems Ousainou Darboe does not know the difference between a sea and a bolong otherwise he would not have referred to the Janjangbureh bridge as a bolong. Ousainou and his people are those who were saying the revolution will only last for a few days, weeks, months and years but now it is twenty years old with a lot of development projects accomplished. We will bridge the Banjul-Barra crossing when the time comes because everything is stage by stage. When he talks about the arrest and detention of people he should know that this is a country governed by rule of law and nobody is above the law. If the people he talked about have not done anything then why were they arrested? Only blind people will fail to see the support President Jammeh has given to religion with mosques to be found at every kilometer of this country. President Jammeh sponsors hundreds of people on pilgrimage every year which no one had ever before done. I think Ousainou is just jealous.”

The Supreme Islamic Council president Lamin Touray in his riposte enunciated: “Our critics are enemies of Islam bent on driving a wedge between the council and the government. These are people who want to see the successful cooperation we have had with the government to promote the Islamic religion cease. By the might and grace of Allah, they shall not succeed in their mischief. Whatever Lawyer Darboe and anybody say about the Supreme Islamic Council, we submit our case to Allah to judge between us and them.”

Source: The Standard Newspaper

 

“THE GAMBIA, AN OPPRESSED NATION, WAILS IN AGONY”, LAMENTS SADDAM SANYANG

September 5, 2014
Reads :2507
LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

JAMMEH, THE  UNRELENTING TYRANT

JAMMEH, THE UNRELENTING TYRANT

What a shame. What a pain. Oh, What a Sin.  My heart bleeds in agony anytime I think of Gambia’s frail situation. No Gambian can deny the Gambia is sinking in her own drips of blood purged by her very own children. Eh! Allah. What an agony. It is obvious for all to see. Yet arrogance, selfishness, fear and ‘I don’t care attitude’ blind our minds and eyes to see the light, the light of love, nationalism and dedication for mother Gambia as we watch President Jammeh and his henchmen take down lives for his own good and security. Fellow Gambians solitary ignorance breeds solitary domination.

Mr. President, if you are not a monster and a mosquito sucking Gambians’ blood, why do you need guns and bullets to develop the Gambia. Suffice it to assert men of love, wisdom and dignity never disrespect humanity instead they collaborate in harmony for the best of their people. They do not crave undesirable love and acceptance. Their works do it for them Mr President. Foolish and authoritarian leaders, on the other hand, officiate and spin their own titles and acceptance as you clearly manifested. We bow down to oppression out of ignorance and fear but not for love and compassion. What a shameful fiasco for a nation to compromise the values of humanity. Many Gambians who gave you the benefit of the doubt, time and space to fulfil your promises 20 years ago, today felt betrayed, lied to and remorseful for allowing you to be. If only Mr President the hand of time could be reverse, you will not be documented in Gambian history.

If Gambians knew what they know now 20 years ago, they would have fought you tooth and nail for the preservation of her freedom and democracy which you have arrogantly obliterated. Gambians saw in you a young blood with great ideas for change but what a change did you give us. It brings to mind “the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t.”  In sum, with you, we franchised our freedom for destruction and oppression. We bartered democracy with dictatorship. What crosses your mind, Mr President, whenever you hear that verse of our national anthem “LET JUSTICE GUIDE OUR ACTIONS?”  Do you feel any guilt? Frankly, this one man domination of a nation blessed with great minds and strength in this 21st century is well beyond my imagination. Flesh and blood of the nation violated in graphic drips right in front of us, oh yeah what did they say, “it is part of the books to fulfil the prophesy”.

From 1994 to date, so many rights of the Gambian people continued to be violated by a rogue administration. Many Gambian have become victims of arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions without trial, incarceration, tortures, enforced disappearances and state orchestrated murders. The unfriendly climate compels many Gambian to flee in to exile. Do you think you can continue to fool us all the time by manipulating our feelings? Oh hell no. How can you inflict sorrow on us today and promise us a better tomorrow? Who the hell do you think you are? You are nothing but a stupid, arrogant and ignorant criminal calling himself a president. We are sick and tired of your brutal, cruel and barbaric administration. President Jammeh sappi ga nyu…demal ngirr Yallah takh.

I said this many many times and I will never stop saying it until there is a unity within us.  Since we all have a common problem, it is therefore fitting to unify our concerted efforts as one and fight against the brutal regime of President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. Why can’t we join hand in hand to uproot President Jammeh’s government for once? Although we cannot all be in the same group or organization, but all these groups and organizations can collectively join together as one to get rid of President Jammeh and his bunch of criminals.

It is understood wherever there is a problem there is a solution to remedy it. Consequently, we can be able to resolve our differences and unite under a common agenda while maintaining our varied memberships and allegiance to our different groups and organizations. I am conscious that it is a human nature to have differences and even fight, but after each fight we must also find ways to reconcile. I know there are wolves in sheep clothing within us, but is not a reasonable excuse for us not to unite beside our unity will expose them. We have intellectuals, wealthy people, technocrats as well as foolish, stupid and poor idiot in our mid but that does not punctuate we cannot unite and fight to end the dictatorship of President Jammeh.

Our struggle is to liberate ourselves from the shackles of self-colonialism and dictatorship. We need to come up with fitting strategies to develop a political power which can intelligently manoeuver Jammeh’s political decadence and replace it with one free of personal ambition, self-centeredness, corruption, power hunger and flamboyance. The collective leadership of all the groups and organizations should ensure the cohesion of our revolutionary movement to eradicate poverty, hunger, illiteracy and maintain peace for the mass on whose course we claimed to be salivating.  Every human being has fundamental rights as NATURAL CITIZEN regardless of colour, ethnicity, religious and social status.

 Lamin Saddam Sanyang, The Netherlands

“PRESIDENT JAMMEH ‘S VISION 2016 IS AN ILLUSION AND A FANTASY”, SAYS LAMIN CAMARA

September 5, 2014
Reads :2662
WHO IS MORE PRESIDENT, OBAMA OR JAMMEH?

WHO IS MORE PRESIDENT, OBAMA OR JAMMEH?

The hard working Gambian farmers have witnessed an opera by President Jammeh and his government in Sapu and McCarthy with the pretence of promoting rice farming. Like many ill-fated visions before it, the Jammeh government came out with VISION 2016 with sole aim of making food poverty a thing of the past and even exporting excess food. Just like its sister VISION 2020, which also aims to transform The Gambia in twenty-five years, into dynamic middle income country, a tourist paradise, a trading export-oriented agriculture and manufacturing nation, vision2016 is another illusion and fantasy of President Jammeh that will never be realise in our life time. Am not naive to know that, every development plan or strategy is based on a vision but it is foolish and self-deceiving to accept something from President Jammeh, when you know that, he is blatantly lying and blowing a hot air. President Jammeh’s shameful record in office shows that, visions are political exercises and waste of Gambian tax payers’ dalasi.

Food poverty is a serious issue and it is blighting the lives of thousands of our compatriots and their families on daily basis. The eradication of financial and food poverty forms essential part of the Vision 2020, and yet after twenty years, more Gambians are trapped in poverty and food is expensive than ever. Gambians aspire to have decent living standard for their families and affordable prices for their food stuff than anything else. People struggle to afford one square meal a day as the price of goods and services like rice have risen over 100% since the illegal takeover of government in 1994. Why would hard-working Gambian farmers believe in a fantasy like Vision 2016, when they could not achieve food security and decent living in twenty years of your Vision 2020, Mr. President?

Mr. President, when you and your intoxicated military mates defied your duties and rudely took over power from the lame leadership of president Jawara, food security has never be a priority but a political football. The PPP despite their thousands of failures and disappointments, food security and affordable food prices were achieved during their time. They declared the rainy season a hungry season and have been supported by the international community. When the food aid arrives, they shared the food to all Gambians despite their political affiliation. This saved a lot of money for the ordinary people; they used the saving to pay school fees, and other necessities. By time of the harvest, the farmers have enough food hence less need for the imported rice.  In addition, the PPP under the ageing and visionary of Sir Dawda Jawara, engaged in RE-EPORT TRADE where they support the fledging private sector by importing like large quantity of goods like rice and sell it to local traders, who export it to sub-region. Therefore, at any point in time, there is enough of rice in the country to keep the price down. That is a vision, which works. Let’s come to your wishing full thinking, President Jammeh .When you went around the world begging on behave of Gambians, your greediness and lack of sympathy for the plight of poorest members of our community, could not allow you to give those gifts to Gambians. You formed KGI Company and employ your relatives and families to sell that rice from Japan; tractors from India just to mention a few, at exorbitant market prices. Instead of you giving the proceeds from the sales of those gifts to the GRA, You diverted it to finance your flamboyant life style .Building and demolishing mosques at tune of D75million, throwing parties, using it to pay for under sex with fair colour girls like Aisha Njie. Those gifts of rice and agricultural equipment’s will have alleviate poverty among Gambians and in long term ensure food security. Your central bank has been publishing data which shows that, the re-export trade have been falling year on year. This is due to fact that, the state under your despotic leadership lacks the imagination to take the re-export trade to a new level where you will be ahead of competition from our neighbours like Senegal. The Senegalese over the past twenty years have been more economic prosperous and political enlighten and free, than their sisters and brothers in Gambia due to  your  bankrupt economic visions  like vision2020 and an acute lack of political pluralism and democratic freedoms.

When one carefully consider the capacity for food production  in The Gambia ,which is needed to achieve Vision2016,it become easier to conclude that it will remain a figment of your imagination, president Jammeh . The farming methods, equipment, the irrigation system, the land, which are available to hard-working Gambian farmers, are so basic that, they cannot dramatically increase food production within two years. In addition, the land available to rice production is limited and The Gambia is only 11000sq meters. How on earth, can Gambia farmers use that land to produce enough food to  feed over two million people, to house over two million people ,to build schools, hospitals etc, on 11000sq meters? Do you think about that, Babili mansa? Stop lying to Gambians, president Jammeh, vision2016 is not workable but just a, fantasy.

As the global economy is recovering from the greatest depression since the 1930s, national economies are recalibrating their finances and systems to make them resilience to avoid future economic collapse. Gambia cannot be immune from that, despite been one the smallest economy in the sub region. Food security either through genuine attempt to increase food production and affordable imported food prices. We can only achieve that, if we get rid of President Jammeh and his family cartel of businesses and replace it with genuine partnership with the private sector. We will pay a heavy price and put great burden on future generation, if we did not solve Gambia’s food poverty. President Jammeh’s words and vision2016, is as good as a fool’s gold.

Lamin Camara. UK.

MOMODOU SABALLY BRUTALLY TORTURED AND LEFT TO RECOVER IN JANJANBUREH NOTORIOUS PRISON

September 5, 2014
Reads :5938
BABILI MANSA JAMMEH

BABILI MANSA JAMMEH

ERSTWHILE SG SABALLY

ERSTWHILE SG SABALLY

Dependable sources close to Momodou Sabally reaching Fatu Radio have indisputably confirmed the former Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister who was also disgracefully demoted to Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology shortly before his removal from office, has been severely tortured by ‘The Junglers’, a group of security personnel specifically trained to carry out state manage killings and tortures of vulnerable Gambians on the orders of The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh. Sabally was arrested and detained even well before his removal as Minister for Higher Education contrary to what Gambians were told by GRTS news report. It was after the announcement of his dismissal on GRTS that he was later escorted to his office to hand over to his Permanent Secretary, Madi Ceesay.

“Sabally is in really very bad shape that even his wife could not recognise him. He was severely tortured and then heartlessly moved to Janjanbureh prison to heal naturally. How can anyone do such a heinous thing to another human being and sleep soundly?” Charged the source as tears burst from his eyes.

“None of his family members are allowed to see him including his wife and children due to his gruesome condition. Sabally was tortured shortly after his brief court appearance in Banjul.  His torture was planned hence the reason his trial adjourned to October 14 so that he could heal before his hearing begins”, furiously lamented another source.

President Jammeh is said to be very bitter with Sabally after he learned that Sabally tore his removal letter and threw it at the Vice President, Dr Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy. He also shitted himself with rage when he was informed that he Sabally claimed he was more educated, cultured, exposed and admired than Jammeh. Many believe this was all made up by security agents who were with Sabally at that time due to grudges they held against him when he was Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister. Many now understood why it took the state long to charge Sabally after his dismissal and quick appearance at court. President Jammeh gave detailed instructions on how the torture of Sabally should be orchestrated to teach his arrogant intellectual a lesson of his life. A little bird from Jammeh’s inner circle has it that Jammeh knew if Sabally was tortured before his first court appearance, he will inform the court about it. Consequently, his appearance at court, adjournment and subsequent tortured were all carefully state planned and orchestrated according to President Jammeh’s disposition.

Momodou Sabally was hastily arraigned at the high court in Banjul on 11 August 2014 and pleaded not guilty to all charges of economic crimes and abuse of office slammed on him by the Director of Public Prosecution, S.H. Barkun. It will be recalled Sabally who appeared in court without a lawyer applied for bail based on being a family and that he has already been in custody for five weeks and had “cooperated fully with his investigators”.  Unsurprisingly, his appeal for bail was quickly denied by court which reasoned that his investigation was still inconclusive.

However, the judge ruled that since both parties agreed that the investigation is yet to be completed, he does not think the court should at this stage grant bail. Below are the charges brought against Sabally: In May 2014, Sabally committed an offence when as secretary general he caused economic loss to Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) to the tune of D402, 500 by unduly influencing the corporation to fund the ‘Youth Career Development’ programme of one Mariama Sillah without recourse to due process, and thereby committed an offence. The second and third counts stated that he committed an offence when he abused his office as the secretary general, by influencing the SSHFC to sponsor the said programme.It further alleged that this was in “flagrant abuse of his office”, and that he “blatantly disregarded due process” when he influenced the SSHFC to sponsor the programme.

Source: Fatu Radio

ALHAGIE JOBE, EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OBSERVER, ACQUITTED AND DISCHAGED BY JUSTICE AMADI

September 3, 2014
Reads :3339
A. JOBE EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OBSERVER

A. JOBE EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OBSERVER

JUSTICE PREVAILS FOR GPU

JUSTICE PREVAILS FOR GPU

Today, Gambian journalists rejoice with Alhagie Jobe, former deputy director of Daily Observer, and his co-accused-Mbye Bittaye as both are acquitted and discharged by Justice Emanuel Amadi of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court. It will be remembered that both Mr Jobe and Mr Bittaye were arrested, detained and tortured at the National Intelligence Agency in May 2013 and slammed with four counts of felony. 

On count two, the first accused is charged with seditious Publication contrary to section 52(1)(c) of the Laws of The Gambia  and the particulars of counts stated “Alhagie Jobe sometime between the year 2012 and 2013 at the Daily Observer Company in Kanifing Municipality in the Republic of The Gambia, did an act with seditious intention to wit: published in a purported Daily Observer newspaper of the 19th December 2012 edition, a false story that ‘Major Lamin Touray on the run for imminent re-arrest and detention and charged in absentia for breach of office ethics and code by refusing to take orders in the execution of some people’ and thereby committed an offence.”

On count three, the first accused is charged with being in possession of seditious Publication contrary to section 52(2) of the Laws of The Gambia and the particulars of offence accentuate “Alhagie Jobe, sometime between the year 2012 and 2013 at the daily Observer newspaper company in the Kanifing Municipality and other various places in The Gambia, without lawful excuse had in his possession a seditious publication, and thereby committed an offence.”

Counts one and four were giving false information to a government official. When arraigned before Justice Amadi Alhagie Jobe denied all charges and went on to tell the court “This story was never published. Before you publish a story, management must authorize it. The article in question is a cancelled article which was never published. When I said so they said I am lying and they started beating me again all over my body in a dark room.”

Justice Amadi’s bold decision to uphold justice in a dictatorial state is commendable. It also amplifies that justice will always prevail eventually however one may strive to suppress it.