Kasim Kanji died at the hands of Jammeh's rag-tag but brutal security apparatus. The young hotel worker underwent severe torture sessions before his neck was broken, and his lifeless body returned to where he was initially picked up. From this point on, it was the job of the Abuko police to complete the sinister job of concealing what happened, fabricating stories and terrorizing any one who dared to report what they saw. Unconfirmed reports say the parents and other family members have since been picked up by the police for speaking about the death of their son.
Gambians must resist being intimidated. We are not naive or callous enough to pretend that there are no risks and/or severe consequences associated with speaking out. There are; but speak, we must. Indeed, if it weren't for, at least, one eyewitness, and the brave uncle of Kasim who contacted the online papers, the story would never have been told. The world would not have known, and Kasim's life would have been one more on a long list of disappearances, unexplained deaths - all of which had gone unpunished.
There were many more gruesome incidences like the one Kasim encountered last Saturday that had gone unreported because of fear of reprisals from the security forces. Potential eyewitnesses have been traumatized in the past for stepping forward. They are afraid to come forward. Even if they do want to come forward, where will they report these acts of terror against a civilian population - the internet-based online papers. We encourage potential witnesses to go to them with what you know about this case or any other similar case involving human rights abuses of Gambians.
The petition drive on behalf of Kasim Kanji is progressing well. Thanks to the publicity given to it by the online press and others. Inquiries from the international press is beginning to trickle in. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, I understand, are already asking for details of the case. www.change.org will be sending periodic updates to the American Embassy and the European Delegation Offices in Banjul of our campaign to end terror against the Gambian population and impunity from punishment of those responsible for these hinous acts.
Given the brutal nature of the Yaya Jammeh regime, we do understand the reluctance on the part of the citizens to speak to this particular gruesome act, and to others. But without the public's help, the terror against the Gambian population will continue, and the problem that is the regime of Yaya Jammeh will prevail. 19 years of this nightmare is enough.
We are, therefore, appealing and encouraging Gambians who have information leading to the identity or identities of the police officers and members of security forces who were responsible for the murder of Kasim Kanji to come forward. We want to prevent another Kasim Kanji from being murdered in the name of the personal security and safety of one man - Yaya Jammeh. Do it for Kasim.
Please continue to encourage friends and colleagues to sign the petition at :