Reports reaching us are suggesting, as in the cases of the 85 prisoners claimed to have been released, that, at least, one prominent "pardoned" prisoner has either been returned to or never was released from Mile II prisons in the first instance.
Families and friends are urging us not to report on these developments, just yet. While we understand the anxiety of living under a highly repressive regime that constantly threatens the well being of the citizenry, we cannot also sit on information that will keep Gambians and the rest the world informed of the human rights abuses going on in the country.
We have just published a blog today demanding that Jammeh provides the world with a comprehensive list of ALL those he claimed to have been released and to have their names gazetted, among other demands. It is for the very reason that many of these prisoners will be secretly whisked back into Mile II only to have them "disappear" providing the perfect alibi for the regime to claim that they have already been pardoned and released.
The Jammeh regime is engaged in a highly dangerous game of deceit that will be aided, however inadvertently, by families refusing to cooperate with journalists and advocacy groups in their efforts to bring the Gambian story to the world. Without the cooperation of families, friends and relatives of "pardoned" prisoners, our task will be more difficult than it already is.