Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In The Gambia, every life matters

"Ebrima" a mentally ill Gambian man 
Meet "Ebrima".  He is a mentally ill man who appears to be in his mid 30s or early 40s.  He hangs around Pipe Line and sleeps at the Atlas petrol station along the same street.

Last week, the Gambian dictator's convoy was passing through Westfield Junction when "Ebrima"decided to haul insults at Yaya Jammeh.

The police officers nearby heard the mentally challenged man and didn't appreciate Jammeh being insulted.  They proceeded to take the matters into their own hands as they routinely do as a matter of routine procedure.  

According to eyewitnesses, "Ebrima" was arrested and "beaten up mercilessly in front of the crowd." He was subsequently taken away by the police and never seen since.  It's been a week since "Ebrima" was last seen.

The regime of Yaya Jammeh is viciously protective of Yaya Jammeh.  Gambians have no right to express the way they feel towards him.  Any criticism of him can and does land you in jail or worse, as in the case of "Ebrima", never mind he is mentally ill.

The use of torture and other inhuman treatment of Gambians must stop.  While treating "Ebrima" as a 'regular guy' and not as a mentally ill person who should be in a mental hospital is morally repugnant, the regime's insistence on getting every Gambian to fall in line behind one of Africa's most brutal and repressive dictator is both unreasonable and unsustainable.