UDP’s Lasana Jobarteh Extends Gratitude To wellwishers

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Lasana Jobarteh freed!

The detained opposition activist has expressed profound gratitude to all those who stood by him throughout his illegal detention at the National Intelligence Agency in Banjul. Hundreds of people visited Lasana Jobarteh during his detention to offer their solidarity and support. 

“I am immensely thankful to all the loyal supporters of United Democratic Party (UDP), the youths, ordinary Gambians, members of the press and family members who camp at my home everyday to give support,” Mr Jobarteh who was immediately shortly after he left the opposition Unity Rally held in Brikama. Jobarteh helped the online media to broadcast the rally live.

Jobarteh said his treatment at the NIA was “cordial and smooth.”

Mr. Jobarteh continues to receive solidarity after his release. “Everyday is like a naming ceremony at my compound. My mother is here, family members, and other people. I am overwhelmed with support. Calls are coming from wider community and friends,” he said.

Lasana Jobarteh, who is comforted by close relatives and friends, remains in high spirit. His case is a familiar one in a long struggle like ours in which the powers-that-be are bent on abusing their powers to silence any form of opposition. They will arrest, detain and parade opponents in their kangaroo courts on flimsy charges.

Mr. Jobarteh’s only crime – if there is any – was to help Pa Nderry M’bai of Freedom Newspaper relay the opposition rally in Brikama. He said prior to the rally, he had no affiliation with Freedom Newspaper. “I neither work for the paper, nor logged on to Lawyer Darboe’s Skype account as alleged by Freedom,” he said. He said such an allegation is “a malicious attempt to distort the truth and implicate me.” Such a reporting betrays the ethics and responsibility bestowed on journalist.

In fact, using Skype call to broadcast has never been a crime anywhere in the world, after all, all the major international news broadcasters, including BBC, RFI, Aljazeera and CNN conduct interviews using Skype.  It therefore beats one’s imagination that answering a Skype call would be tantamount to operating a radio station without license.

Mr. Jobarteh spoke volume about the UDP leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, describing him as “a very decent human being who has it all at his feet but chose to sacrifice it all for the love of his country.  It is very rare to have such a genuine and honest man today. If the regime has anything against Lawyer Darboe that will be a daily news. He stood by me and other detained UDP members throughout. We cannot thank him enough. Ousainou is a hero to us.”

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