Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Journalist charged with sedition

Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay, Radio Journalist
The regime of Yaya Jammeh has charged radio journalist, Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay with sedition, after he was abducted and held at the notorious National Intelligence Agency’s custody on July 17th until he was arraigned in court on Tuesday. 

This is the journalist’s second abduction at the hands of a regime that is highly intolerant of criticism.  During his first abduction, the journalist was held in custody for eleven days, tortured and then dumped by security agents a few miles from his residence near the Banjul International Airport.

Even before the ink is dry on the so-called prisoner pardon scheme and the exact numbers of the released are known, than Yaya Jammeh is at his old tricks again of intimidating, harassing and jailing ordinary Gambians, and on his way to filling our prisons again with fudged and imagined charges against law abiding citizens.

When the United States demanded the release of the twice-abducted radio journalist in a press release acknowledging the prisoner release, he was suddenly charged with sedition.  Initially, the concocted charge was that the journalist encouraged Gambians not to attend the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations back in February which resulted in a low turn-out. 

Realizing that that would be a ridiculous charge to defend even in a dictatorship and with the U.S. breathing down Jammeh's neck,  it was quickly changed to the ludicrous tale that he sent a photo via email to two females depicting Jammeh holding a gun on one hand and a cell phone on the other.  According to the regime, this constitute spreading hatred towards the dictator and thus seditious. 

The prosecution will now recruit two witnesses – most likely total strangers to the journalist – who will testify against a journalist they have never met before.  So many innocent Gambians and non-Gambians alike have been farmed in this that they find themselves locked up in Mile II for a decade or more.

The first time Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay was abducted, he was tortured that required medical attention.  His second abduction lasted over two weeks, and the reason he's been sent to Mile II is most likely because he has been tortured again.  The hope is that his prison stay will allow time for his wounds to heel. 

It is the same scenario that plays out every time because the caliber of people employed by this regime is so low, they are less imaginative than third graders.  All they are good at is torturing the innocent and incarcerating the enemy - real and imagined - on trump-up charges and paying witnesses to testify against the accused.