Thursday, August 6, 2015

GAMBIA: The regime is still not releasing the official list of "pardoned" prisoners

Jammeh going to the polls
Following the release of the "pardoned" prisoners and the demands from the public and opponents of the regime for an official list, with names, addresses and other personal details, the regime is still dragging its feet on the issue.

To simply say to Gambians and the world that 229 prisoners have been pardoned by the Benevolent Leader is clearly not enough as we have shown in our previous posts.  You can find them here and here.

It is only reasonable to provide Gambians with details of each and every prisoner released under the scheme so that the list can be checked against every single prisoner "pardoned" to ensure proper and accurate accounting of every human life under the regime of Yaya Jammeh.

To refuse this simple request would mean that Gambians will never know how many prisoners have actually been released and their actual identities.  What would prevent the regime from claiming, a month or a year from now that prisoner X has been released when in actual fact the contrary is the case.

As we have seen in the case of the Gambian journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh, who was arrested by security agents from his Daily Observer offices and has never been seen since.  yet, the regime is claiming to this day that the journalist is not in their custody, and in fact, he's been sited in America or or other undisclosed country when Chief Manneh has been tortured to death and his body disposed of.

In the absence of the list, Gambians and the international community cannot verify current and subsequent claims by a regime notorious for putting out false claims, regarding the number of prisoners affected and their whereabouts.

We must hold the regime to account for every prisoner that is in their custody as well as those released to ensure that Jammeh will not claim that prisoners have been released when he has murdered them.  We must continue to be vigilant. Otherwise a lot of Gambian lives will be lost between now and October 2016 when Jammeh's current term comes to a close.