The brutal regime of Jammeh of has struck once more. This time a young man by the name of Kasim Kanyi of Lamin village. He was reportedly riding his bicycle on the side road towards Abuko from his hometown of Lamin and along the path of Jammeh's motorcade.
Young Kasim was reportedly stopped by a policeman and asked if he was aware that the presidential convoy was to use the road to which he responded in the negative. Suddenly, according to eyewitnesses, a truck-load of military personnel stopped and uniformed security asked the policeman why the kid was on the presidential route, ostensibly obstructing the convoy. Without further exchange or a simple order to move off the road ( young Kasim was already riding his bike on one of the dirt tracks) the soldiers loaded young Kasim on their truck and whisked him off to an unknown location where he was reportedly beaten, his neck broken and severe lacerations to the head. These are all signs of torture and trauma.
Kasim's lifeless body was returned to the proximity of Abuko police stateion where his body was dumped. However, another account of the story is that his body was taken inside the Abuko police station. Regardless of which account is accurate, what is indisputable is that another young innocent life has been brutally and senselessly taken by Jammeh's security who prey on the civilian population, particularly the young. The brutal torture and subsequent death of Ebrima Barry in 2001 at the hands of members of Jammeh's security forces eventually led to the student demonstrations which culminated to the massacre of more than a dozen defenseless school children.
The family of Kasim kanji refused to sign a declarative statement prepared by the Abuko police in an obvious move to absolve themselves of responsibility for this heinous act against a defenseless kid riding his bicycle on public roads. These cowardly acts by an equally cowardly personal security detail of Yaya Jammeh are ever so frequent that one is led to believe that they are a form of repression designed to preempt any spontaneous demonstration of public anger and rejection of a failing regime - a regime that is on its last leg after 19 years of failed policies by an incompetent bunch of illiterates and people of doubtful nationalities.
The family of Kasim Kanyi must be applauded for refusing to sign the government document that would have absolved any and all those purportedly involved in the crime. The family is equally right in demanding a thorough investigation of the crime and punish those responsible, a highly unlikely outcome, given the impunity and irresponsibility with which Jammeh has been governing The Gambia since illegally seizing power almost two decades ago.
Gambians must stand up and demand justice for Kasim Kanji. This blog has opened up a petition drive on www.change.org designed to draw the world's attention to yet another act of cowardise and brutality against the civilian population who are now being effectively held captive by a regime that is obviously on its last leg.
Please log in to sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/president-yahya-jammeh-president-of-the-republic-of-the-gambia-bring-to-justice-the-killers-of-kasim-kanji-of-lamin-village#
I have also requested www.change.org to post the petition on my Facebook page and twitter account. The petition is also directly linked to the State House in Banjul, the U.S. Embassy and the European Union Delegation Offices on Kairaba Avenue and Atlantic Road, Fajara, respectively.