Archive for the ‘News’ Category

GAMBIA: REPORT ON THE CASE OF THE STATE VS. DARBOE & OTHERS

May 25, 2016
Gambian opposition demand rights to their basic freedoms

Gambian opposition demand rights to their basic freedoms

Dictator and oppressor of Gambians

Dictator and oppressor of Gambians

The accused persons were arrested on the 16th April 2016 while on peaceful procession along the Kairaba Avenue Road, Kanifing Municipality, The Gambia.They were on a peaceful demonstration to demand the unconditional release of the demonstrators who were arrested on the 14th April 2016; including the unconditional release of the “dead body” of Ebrima Solo Sandeng (the Youth leader of the opposition United Democratic Party), who is alleged to have been tortured to death by the Gambia National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The accused persons were held in custody until the 19th April 2016; when they were brought to Court at about 17:30pm, thirty minutes before official time to close of business of the Court. They were brought in chains and handcuffs by the Prisons officers and Police Intervention Unit officers (PIU).

During the proceedings, after the charges were read to the accused persons and they all pleaded not guilty to the charges, the State counsel’s lead by Saleh Hadi Barkum (DPP) of Nigerian Nationality urged the court to adjourn the matter to a further date due to lack of time for the court to entertain any application. However, the defense counsels lead by A.A Gaye, raised an objection and moved an application for bail to be granted to the accused persons being a constitutional right. The State Counsel (DPP) objected to granting bail to the accused persons citing reasons of National security.

However, Mrs. A.N.D Bensouda reminded the court that, as provided by the constitution, it is the fundamental right of the accused persons to be admitted to bail since they have not been convicted by any court of law and that the State did not charge the accused persons with any offence that is related to National Security or any charge that mentions National security. She cited case law and constitutional provisions to support her submission, then she urged the court to grant the accused persons bail pending the determination of the trial.

Justice Ottaba ruled that, the application for bail should be made formally (by writing) due to insufficient of time to entertained the oral application. The matter was adjourned to the 21st April 2016 for hearing and for the defense counsels to file and move their bail application.

The Bail application was filed formally and moved on the same date. The State counsel sought 2 days to file an affidavit in opposition, which extended into the following week. On the next adjourned date, the State counsel filed his affidavit in opposition. On the same day, the defense sought for a 30 minutes recess to enable them look at the counter affidavit of the State since they were served in court and respond to it according. The matter was stood down. The Defense counsel returned and announced that a reply to the State counsel counter affidavit will be filed momentarily and urged the court to deem it filed and adopted before the court to enable the case to continue.

Thereafter, the Judge, Ottaba J. ordered both sides to file their arguments on the issue of bail. Twenty-four (24) hours was granted to the defense counsels to file their brief first and three days was granted to the State counsels to also file their brief in reply. On the next adjourned date, the State filed their brief in court while the case was proceeding, thereby denying the defense to look at it beforehand to enable them to reply on issues raised by the State in their briefs. Again, upon application, the Judge granted the defence to file their reply within 24 hours, which the Judge deemed filed and adopted in court.  The DPP questioned the appropriateness of deeming the reply brief filed and adopted, but he was overruled.

In any event, the Judge adjourned for a full one week (7 days) in order to enable him to write his ruling on the bail applications of the accused persons. This is unusual. Meanwhile, the accused persons shall remain in custody at the notorious Mile 2 prisons, where they have been in custody for two weeks.

On the 5thMay 2016, the Judge delivered his ruling refusing to grant bail to the accused persons due to reasons the falsity of which can only be appreciated by investigating in detail the ruling of the Judge. In essence, the Judge imported case laws from Nigeria, which were decided based on provisions of Statutes or Laws, which does not have equivalent in the Gambian law. Further the cases relied upon related to armed robbery and terrorism offences. That could only be deliberate and mischievous miscarriage of Justice.

Having refused the accused persons bail, the defense counsel Hawa Sisay Sabally applied to move an application on behalf of accused persons. The application was in respect of the welfare of the accused persons in custody. She stated that, some of the accused persons were held in solitary confinement even though they were not convicted by the court. The second argument was in respect of the fact that the accused persons have not been allowed access to their lawyers, family members and medical attention. She submitted citing provisions in the constitution and the Prisons Act. She urged the court to make a similar order it made earlier about the welfare of the accused persons, which had been flouted by the authority of the prisons service.

The Judge again ordered for the accused persons to be allowed access to their lawyers, family members, food and medical attention according to the rules and regulation of prisons.

In any event, these orders of the court were not obeyed until after two weeks and when Mrs. A.N.D Bensouda raised the issue of the Welfare of the accused persons in custody again in court.  The DPP informed the court that a letter was received from the Minister of Interior directed to the Prison authority to allow the accused persons access to their lawyers, family members, medical attention and food. Then, the Judge by way of Obiter dicta (off court record, passing comments) alluded that “now that an executive order is made, I think it will add weight to the court ordered.” This is a mockery of Justice and the integrity and Independence of the Judiciary.

The defense counsels on behalf of the accused persons filed an appeal in the Court of appeal challenging the ruling of Ottaba J. refusing the accused persons bail. An application is also filed on behalf of Ebrima Solo Sandeng summoning the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Prisons services and the Director of the National Intelligent Agency (NIA) to produce the person of Ebrima Solo Sandeng in court. An application was also filed but was not moved in court seeking the Judge to recuse himself from further adjudicating on the case because of obvious bias, partiality and miscarriage of Justice on his part.

The allegations against the Judge as a ground for him to recuse himself, was confirmed by himself during an online interview. His statements in the interviewed showed his complicity in the perversion and miscarriage of Justice being done by the State using mercenary Judges from Nigeria.

On the next adjourned date, the Judge it is believed after consultation with lawyers for  the State and defense counsels, was urged to recuse himself personally instead of an application being moved asking him to do so, which will be further embarrassing to the Judge and the entire Judiciary beyond what had been done.

On the 16th May 2016, the Justice Ottaba, after the formal calling of the case and appearances of counsels announced that, he wished to recuse himself from further proceeding in this case, and that the case file will be sent to the chief Justice.

However, the appeal against the ruling of Ottaba J. has been with the President of the Court of Appeal since one week before the 16th May 2016. When counsel for the defense approached the President of the Court of Appeal to obtain a date for hearing of the appeal, the president of the court of Appeal without any courtesy to the Lawyers said that, his diary is full and that date available is two weeks from the 16th May 2016, that is, on the 30th May 2016.

Meanwhile, the accused persons are left languishing in the custody of State unattended and denied bail. Remember the charges against the accused persons are mere misdemeanors, the charges are not felonies and capital offences, which could be a reason to keep them denied bail pending the determination of the allegation against them are decided by the court of law. What is happening is that, the accused persons are convicts of executive order and or directives, who unfortunately in the Gambia can do and undo with impunity.

 

BREAKING NEWS!!! SENEGALESE TRANSPORT UNION LEADER DISMISSES REPORTS THAT BORDER IS OPEN

May 24, 2016
Long queue of Lorries at the Senegal-Gambia border

Long queue of Lorries at the Senegal-Gambia border

The leader of the Senegalese transport union Gora Khouma has vehemently dismissed reports circulated in the Senegalese media that Senegal-Gambia border has reopened today.  A defiant Gora made such refutations on RFM radio today. He said it has come to his attention that last night some media houses in Senegal carried stories of reopening of the border but as far as the transport union is concerned the border still remains closed.   News that a possible lasting deal is struck between Senegal and Gambia in the border standoff was feeding in and circulating  on social media which this paper also reported but as things stand at the moment the transport union of Senegal seem to have the final say on the prolonged border crises.

Mr. Gora Khouma and his union are not showing any signs of relenting in this long ride triggered by a unilateral decision  of tariff increment by the regime in Banjul.  The leader has expressed strong opposition to the way the Gambian leader  has been comporting himself with regards to transport route via Gambia. The way situation is unfolding at this hour , shows that the Union leader is not wavering from his initial stance that  for the border to open again it is either President Jammeh resigns from the presidency or he Mr. Khouma resigns as head of the transport union. There has not been any confirmed report this morning that the long border impasse is over.  Therefore as at now it is a wait and see situation. We would continue to keep our readers abreast as things unfold in the border crises.

 

SENEGAL – GAMBIA BORDER STANDOFF HALTS

May 24, 2016
Presidents of Senegal & Gambia

Presidents of Senegal & Gambia

The long boarder standoff between Senegal and Gambia is expected to halt today May 24th according to reports feeding in from Senegalese media houses. The border impasse which lasted for over three months started when the Gambia government unilaterally decided to raise tariffs for Lorries passing through the country to an exorbitant amount of 400,000cfa francs. The transport union of Senegal responded with drastic actions which involve avoiding the trans-Gambia route and barring Gambia vehicles from coming into Senegal.  The situation seriously affected the free movement of people, goods and services between the two countries.

Prior to the latest report of reopening of the border the Guinean President step in and mediated for the two sides to negotiate and find a lasting solution which resulted in Gambia sending envoys to Dakar about 2weeks ago to discuss with their Senegalese counterparts. A day before said meeting in Dakar the Gambia leader went on national television chastising Senegal for the border closure.  The meeting ended with Senegal putting up a number of conditions if the border is to reopen.  Some of the conditions include commencement of the bridge project and a return to the original tariff.  At the end of the meeting there was no indication that a decision has been reached by both sides instead a date was set for a next round of meeting in July.

Some observers hinted that there might have been behind the scene negotiation which culminated in Banjul backtracking on the tariff increase and may have given assurances to Senegal on the commencement of the bridge project which led to the reported reopening of the border today.  Observers also say Senegal is dealing with someone who hardly honors agreements and runs The Gambia like his personal property, taking unilateral decisions every now and then.   For now it is a wait and see situation.

INNA LILLAH WA INNA ELAIHI RAZION YOUNG BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD WIFE FATOU SONKO DIED

May 21, 2016
Late Fatou Sonko Saidykhan

Late Fatou Sonko Saidykhan

Nfamara Saidykhan of Reading UK, Sarjo wuday Saidykhan of Portsmouth UK, Manding Saidykhan commonly called Manding Saidy and the entire Saidykhan Kunda family of Jarra Kani Kunda in the Lower River Region of the Gambia West Africa, regret to inform all relatives, friends, colleagues and the entire Muslim ummah and humanity at large the sudden and unexpected death of their dear lovely wife – Fatou Sonko who is wife of Manding Saidy.

Fatou Sonko died on Thursday 19th May 2016 and was laid to rest the same day at 2.00 o’clock at the New Jeshwang cemetery. Fatou has been described as a good and caring wife and those who knew her described her kindness towards all her husband’s family friends and love one. She was amongst the best I knew cried Sarjo Wuday Saidykhan Manding’s elder brother.  I believed she created a vacuum that cannot be filled by anyone.  Her kindness cannot be over emphasized. She has been a woman who considered all of her husband’s family as her husband said elder brother Nfamara Saidykhan also brother of Manding. Fatou’s sudden demise is like a wild dream to me. I cannot still belief she is gone he said.  According to her husband Manding Saidykhan, Fatou cherished me and the entire family especially her children and that of even our neighbours.

I would like all Muslims to join me in prayers for Allah the Almighty to grant her janatul firdawsu Amen. She really died at her very young age and of course with great ambition. May her young soul rest in peace Amen!

IS THE BRUTAL KILLING OF SOLO SANDENG AND SUBSEQUENT ARREST AND DETENTION OF OUSAINOU DARBOE AND CO DEEP CLEANING THE ALREADY INFECTED GAMBIA JUDICIARY?

May 21, 2016
Ex Police Officer Aldul Aziz Sowe

Ex Police Officer Aldul Aziz Sowe

By Ex Police Officer Abdul Aziz Sowe

Dear Editor,

Please allow me space in your newspaper once again to express my observations on events happening in the Gambia. What seems to be unfolding in the Gambia these few weeks is really eye catching as judges fell and legal experts get fired one after the other. These all started since the country’s main Opposition Leader of the United Democratic Party and his executives were illegally arrested and charged for disturbing the peace and other bogus criminal charges.

The whole wrangling started when Ebrima Solo Sandeng one executive member of the UDP was arrested for protesting for electoral reforms with banners, a whistle and a megaphone. He was said to have never refused arrest but yet again he was allegedly tortured and said to have been killed as a result of torture and other members of his group Fatoumata Jawara, Ndogoi Njie, Fatou Camara, Modou Ngum Mr. Fatty ect. As the case unfolds, it seems a lot of legal staff and judges are said to be trying everything and even praying to avoid taking over the case as most are uncomfortable in handling the case as it is a clear political one. The executive interference into the judicial decision is evident everywhere and many judges and legal staff currently face the grin of the dictator’s axe.

The first causality was justice Ottaba who after his famous interview with Journalist Fatu Camara of Faturadio Network was said to have felt uncomfortable to handle the case.  The interview was widely aired and shared on social media, showcasing the real intent of the dictatorship to use them foreign Judges to imprison main opposition Leader Ousainou Darboe and co even when no crime had been committed. Gambians both at home and abroad have observed that since the alleged Killing of Ebrima Solo Sandeng who was said to have been tortured and killed while under state custody, the Gambia seized to remain business as usual. Even those who pretended to ignore what is happening all knew Gambia has changed from state of fear to a state of defiance. No one would imagine in March this year that in few days or weeks, Gambians would publicly stand in the streets and defy Dictator Yahya Jammeh in public. But that has changed. Also for a sitting judge to publicly admit in an open interview or even in a private phone conversation with someone you do not know shows Gambia has began the journey of no return.

After the interview with Fatu Camara, Justice Ottaba was said to have removed himself from the Darboe and Co case and also President Jammeh who always accused Mandinkas of tribalism and mostly against his regime in anger was said to have fired Mr. Cherno Marena the Solicitor General and replaced him with Saffie Sankareh who prior to her appointment was a state council, at the Attorney General’s chambers responsible for representing Government’s interest in domestic courts, drafting of primary and subsidiary legislations, preparing treaty documents for ratification as well as offering legal opinion to Ministries and government Agencies. She holds an LLB Degree from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales and LLM Hons degree in International Law from the University of Bristol in England. She is a Barrister of Law at Gray’s inn in the United Kingdom and also a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Gambia. She also lectures International Trade and Investment Law at the University of the Gambia.

Another latest causality is Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle. The firing of the Gambia’s Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle was said to have resulted from Justice Ottaba’s debacle and it has thus the resulted in the sacking of three of the four infamous Emmanuels brought as Machinery Judges to the Gambia by Dictator Jammeh to luck up his perceived opponents. First it was Nigerian Emmanuel Agim who was used and systematically elevated to chief Justice as he continued doing the bidding of the Dictator only to be wasted and dismissed, then Emmanuel Nkea who too received a similar fate after being used and wasted. Now it is believed Emmanuel Fagbenle who too has been taken to the dictatorial gallows for the sacrifice. Both Emmanuel Agim and Fagbenle are Nigerians while Emmanuel Nkea was said to come from Cameroon and both reached their peak in Gambia’s legal field for their service to Yahya Jammeh by becoming Chief Justices of the Gambia. Fagbenle was formerly the President of Appeals Court and Director of Public Prosecution a position mostly occupied by Nigerians since Dictator Yahya Jammeh came to power in 1994 and he is reportedly blamed for allowing Justice Ottaba to blink in the middle of a fight.  Report had it that he too like his predecessors, was earlier arrested and detained by intelligence agents before his firing.

It is now reported that Justice Eunice O. Dada of the Banjul High Court who was the same judge who on the 12 May 2016 granted bail to Mr. Ansumana Jammeh (Brother of Yahya Jammeh), and the former Gambian Ambassador to Qatar, with his co accused Sanna Bah and Assan Badjie in the sum of 60 Million Dalasi a thing never heard of in Gambia’s legal history. When she said the following and I coate: “Bail is hereby granted to the accused persons in the sum of 60 Million Dalasi with two Gambian sureties who must submit the original of their title deeds to the Principal Registrar of the high court,” It was clear She was doing the bidding of someone but not following the law for Ansumana and co have not committed any crime against State but that is Yahya Jammeh. He wanted to make Ansumana Jammeh’s case to be seen as look Yahya did not even favor his own brother therefore he is fair. But where on earth has a misdemeanor case been bailed at 60 Million Dalasi? There is no doubt the case has been given to this lady Dada so that she can do as Yahya wish. Remember she too is Nigerian and Gambians and the international community are closely watching to see what she will do. We all saw what happened at the Kanifing Court when Magistrate Hilary Abeke of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on the 17 May, 2016 said his hands were tied and that the Yahya Jammeh’s government should go back with the case of 6 women Kaddy Samateh, a lactating mother of a one month old baby, Isatou Saidy, who is 60 years old, Lele Bojang, Sukai Dahaba, Fatou Sarr and Amie Touray who were charged with seven counts of Unlawful assembly, Riot, Incitement of violence, Holding procession without a permit’, Idle and disorderly behavior, Common nuisance and Prohibition of conduct conducive to the breach of the peace.

When the case was called, Lamin Jarju and Sheriff Kumba Jobe, state counsels, appeared for the Inspector General of Police (IGP), while the accused persons were represented by lawyers Janet Sallah-Njie, Loubna Farage, Haddy Dadeh Njie, Sagarr Jahateh and Anna Njie, who are all members of the Female Lawyers Association of the Gambia (FLAG). After announcing their representations, the presiding magistrate told Ms. Samateh, the lactating mother who was carrying her baby in the dock, and Isatou Saidy, the elderly woman, to sit down. At this juncture, the lead defence counsel Lawyer Sallah-Njie told the court that the matter is for ruling. She further said that as a team of defence lawyers they are relieved that even though no order was made for the accused persons to be produced before the court, they are in court as required by law. “We are objecting for ruling to be delivered today simply because the ruling is for bail and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution has taken over the case. The matter is for bail as I was briefed. We will file fresh charges against the accused persons and all what we are asking for is a short adjournment to enable us to file,” said State counsel Jarjou.

Responding to the prosecution’s objection, Barrister Sallah-Njie told the court that she is a bit flabbergasted with the position of the prosecution. She said she does not understand how and in what position of the law is the objection of the State counsel based on regarding the delivery of a ruling when the court already adjourned the matter for ruling. She added that she did not make any application warranting objection and that she only reminded the court about the ruling. Lawyer Sallah-Njie said the prosecution’s objection is erroneous because the ruling has nothing to do with bail. “This ruling is consistent and the order should be obeyed by the prosecution and the defence,” she said. She added that until the ruling is appealed against it has to be obeyed. She further said that there is no legal basis and that the taking over of the case cannot bar this ruling by the court. She said the prosecution’s objection is misconceived and that she is urging the court to disregard it. The defence counsel further said that the prosecution told the court that they intend to file a fresh charge and that this court should stay off proceedings. “This is an aberration and he does not provide justification to stay off proceeding. What is before the court is that the state has taken over and if they intend to file, they should apply for the charges to be struck out because the accused persons are denied their right to liberty. Orders of the court are meant to be obeyed,” said Lawyer Sallah-Njie.

Prosecutor Jarjou wanted to refer the court to what he said earlier but the defense counsel interjected thus telling the State counsel to reply on points of law and not to reiterate his earlier argument. “Let me make my submission or I will not sit down. Let her allow us to make our submission. She did not raise a single law so there is no need to reply on points of law. I will allow the court to do a ruling,” said the prosecutor. In his ruling, the presiding magistrate said he will urge both parties, especially the counsels in the matter, to go through the case file especially the one taking over. He added that the one handing over the case should properly brief the one taking over it otherwise it will bring misunderstanding. Magistrate Abeke therefore over ruled the prosecution’s objection on the delivery of a ruling on the matter.

The trial magistrate said he has read through the arguments of both parties and that in his prior ruling he had told the prosecution to go and put their house in order and to seek the consent of the Attorney General and that the charges are incompetent. He said he had also ordered for the accused persons to be granted police bail. Magistrate Abeke said the defense counsels argued that they were denied access to their clients. He said they did not tell the court what they did to secure the bail of the accused persons and that they have not exhibited it and as such the court cannot speculate. “In my ruling on the 12 of May 2016, I advised the defense to apply for a police bail and the court cannot make any order when the accused persons are not before the court. The charges were not even read to them and they are not arraigned and they are not before the court and as such the court cannot do anything about it,” said Magistrate Abeke. At this juncture, Lawyer Sallah-Njie said based on the ruling, she is applying for the charges to be struck out. “When charges are found to be incompetent, they ought to be struck out as required by the law,” said the defense counsel.

Responding to the defense counsel’s application, the prosecution argued that the ruling was very clear and that there is nothing before the court. He added that he is very surprised to hear such an application from the defense. He said they are applying for a short adjournment to enable them file fresh charges. For records purposes, my application is for the charges to be struck out, not the process. If there is nothing before this court, why should we adjourn the case? When charges are improper, they should be struck out and the application for adjournment is misconceived,” submitted Barrister Sallah-Njie. She further said that certain issues were raised which were ignored in the ruling of the magistrate such as the right of the vulnerable. These issues are still relevant because you can hear the cry of a baby in court,” said Barrister Sallah-Njie. However, the presiding magistrate said he has repeatedly been telling the prosecution to go back and put their house in order and which they did not do but instead handed over the case to the State. He said even the application for an adjournment is not before him. It was only of another date he was able to grant them bail. Is these all not a clear indication that the judiciary is in total panic?

We shall be able to find out when the dust settles as the cloud is still thick.

God save the Gambia!

HOW COULD A HUMAN BEING LOOK INTO THE EYE OF A WOMAN AND YET STILL TORTURE HER?

May 15, 2016

Miss Satang Sankareh

Miss Satang Sankareh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Editor, Please allow me some space in your widely read newspaper to express my outrage about things happening in the Gambia since I was last there. I read with total dismay and disbelief about things the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Presidential Security of the Gambia are accused of. The amount of atrocities being committed by these people who are born and bread amongst Gambians inside the Gambia a nation known for its dignity yet there are people who behave as if they do not have blood running in their veins. Since 2006 reports upon reports of torture and even rape on female detainees have been surfacing about officers working with the NIA and Presidential Security branch called the jugulars and scariest thing of it all is that there has never been any denial coming from those accused of such atrocities or even the Presidency.

 

How do we call ourselves civilized people when alleged criminals walk enjoying all the luxuries of a free individual despite they are alleged to have committed crimes against civilians much they vowed to protect? It look as if they have no regard for humanity. No investigations, no response to any allegations just silence even when members who have once worked at those institutions like the NIA and Junglars do confirm some of these reports after they fled the Gambia. This cannot continue really because we as Gambians deserve better than what we are getting from people we pay for our protection. How can our own President we voted for to run our affairs order for our torture? I sometimes think these are all dreams but in truth they are realities. Gambia is sinking very fast and people live in perpetual fear. No one seem to ask any question as if we all chose to accept these crimes as our collective punishment hell no we have done nothing wrong to deserve such brutal treatments.

There are tangible signs that Gambia is under a brutal dictatorship but for officers with their human instinct intact to go to a length of looking into the eye of a woman detainee and still torture her is beyond human belief. I am not versed in the law of the Gambia but I am so sure torture is against our constitution therefore anyone who tortures violates the constitution. Why is no one ever arrested for torture? It was only once I have heard the state ever take some officers of the NIA to court for the torture of an officer of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) Mr. Lamin Karbo (Commonly known as Langka). The gentleman was publicly seen running in the streets of Banjul completely naked wearing nothing not even an underwear being chased by men in suits and blood dripping all over his body. That alone should have been a national disgrace but the alleged culprits were pardoned and allowed to continue working as state officials. We are all born of women and women are the backbone of any development. Those NIA and Junglars should be castrated for their actions and made eunuchs for the rest of their miserable lives because even after Yahya Jammeh’s regime, these people if left in prison, they would continue to rape inside prison and if pardoned, they will still rape again and again as it has become their habit that they will find difficult if not impossible to leave.

So the best way to help them if they are not killed by firing squad or lethal injection for their evil crimes is to castrate them all and let them be made eunuchs. Despite I am far away from the Gambia, anytime I think of rape in my country at the hands of security forces, it keeps waking from my sleep as if it had happened to me personally. Am sure the victims must have had the worst of experiences ever imagined in human history. Definitely Yahya Jammeh had destroyed the morals of our people and turned them into savages. These evil crimes starting from the beating of detainees have started since the first week of the coup when Sana Sabally and Edward Singhateh took some PPP elders into Bakau Barrack and torture them and since then many more tortures followed. Now instead of repenting, the torturers have resort to even more evil ways of torture including raping detainees. That is why there is little wonder that anyone that once worked with Yahya Jammeh very closely and they get sacked, many of them could not have the voice to speak against him. Imagine someone who worked with Yahya Jammeh closely and even after you fled out of the Gambia into Europe or America yet you cannot say anything about him when he still says a lot about your evil deeds why he sacked you. There must be something keeping that person from responding. Maybe you were involved in one of his crimes that has tainted you so badly that you are scared when you talk someone somewhere would call you out.

I want to call out on President Jammeh to consider stepping down. The crimes keep pilling up and the criminals keep increasing. Gambia do not know these things before Yahya Jammeh come to power therefore he brought them upon us and once he is out, Gambia will be back to normal. Thank you. Satang Sankareh UK

CHRG-UK REJOICES WITH MEP MARTIN,ALLIES OVER GAMBIA RESOLUTION VICTORY

May 13, 2016
DEVIL WITH THE BEADS

DEVIL WITH THE BEADS

Thursday, May 12, 2016, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a joint resolution condemning the political violence of the regime of President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia. The resolution which was spearheaded by Scottish MEP, David Martin at the request of the Gambian born human rights activists, Alieu Ceesay of the Scottish based Campaign for Human Rights in The Gambia (CHRG), passed with a resounding majority of 539-27. All seven EU parliament political groupings supported the resolution.

 Reacting to the passing of the resolution, MEP David Martin stated: “’It is unfortunate that The Gambia has so far received little attention from this European Parliament. I’m glad that this is changing today, and that we have a strong cross-party resolution addressing the systematic human rights abuses being committed by Jammeh’s regime. The European Union must underline to the Gambian Government that it will always prioritize human rights in its dealings with partner countries.”
 
MEP Martin further emphasized that the behaviour of the Jammeh regime is totally not acceptable and that “I strongly condemn the Gambian Government’s harsh action against peaceful protestors and the legal measures it has taken to prevent a strong political opposition.” 
 
He then urged that: “I hope today’s resolution prompts a pro-active response from the EU Commission and Member States to deter Jammeh’s regime from further human rights abuses, and encourage the Gambia to revise its policies on arbitrary detention, and banning public gatherings and free media.”
The Socialist and Democrats, a progressive alliance in the EU Parliament, also reacted to the passing of the resolution thus: “The European Parliament sent a strong signal to the Gambian government today that human rights are not negotiable when you deal with the EU. An overwhelming majority of MEPs called on Gambia to end its policies of arbitrary detention and torture of civilians. We want to see a free media, a fair judicial system, and freedom of speech, assembly and sexuality in the Gambia. Recent government crackdowns on opposition activists adds to a long history of human rights abuses by this brutal regime, and urgent action is required to prevent the situation from deteriorating in the run-up to the December presidential elections. Despite efforts by the European Union over the last two years to engage with Jammeh’s administration on human rights, little progress has been made and I welcome the resolution’s call for consultations under article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement. The Gambian Government must be held to account.”
 
Alieu Ceesay who is currently at the EU Parliament in Brussels,also reacted to the passing of the resolution stating: “The resolution has supported a total travel ban and assets freeze including president jammeh and all officials and security agents named in human rights violations. This is a major milestone in the history of the fight to restore democracy and the rule of law in The Gambia.”
Mr Ceesay who has been coordinating with the EU Parliament in a series of meetings and efforts in the run up to the resolution said the latest move was propelled by the exacerbation of rights abuses due to the latest crackdown and killing of opposition protesters. “I am very thankful to my MEP, David Martin, his staff, and all the political groupings who have taken this bold step in sending the strongest signal against the Gambian dictatorship. This means that once implemented by the Commission the Gambian government can no longer access funds except humanitarian assistance, or travel or maintain their assets within the EU zone. To all Gambians home and abroad, activists, and victims of the regime, this is a cause for celebration because it will squeeze the regime to the brink of collapse, if not already, remember, an overwhelming majority of the regime’s donor funds come from the EU.”

Omar Bah, chairperson of Gambia Youth for Unity, a united coalition partner of the Alieu Ceesay-led CHRG, expressed gratitude to Mr. Ceesay and his group for a very successful campaign through his MEP and the EU Parliament. “These are the kind of actions that make a fundamental difference in the campaign against impunity in The Gambia. I encourage Gambians living in the US and other parts of the world to also engage their senators and congressional delegations to extend similar sanctions against the Jammeh regime. The EU action is a game changer and there is no way Jammeh tyranny can ignore its impact. I therefore thank Mr. Ceesay, MEP Martin and everyone who supported the resolution at the EU Parliament.”
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