Thursday, August 23, 2018

Let Mr. Sanna Camara go, the problem is elsewhere - REPUBLICATION

Journalist - Sanna Camara
Here's a July 2nd 2014 blog post about one of Gambia's premier reporter, especially in the areas of human trafficking and the out migration.  He reported extensively on the Back Way and has collaborated with international news agencies.  He has been one of 'my go' journalists. 

Mr. Camara has since joined a host of other Gambian journalists who have opted to join the State House press corps which is a loss to Gambian journalism at the critical juncture of the country's political transition.  We wish him and his other colleagues, including MK, in their new positions. 

Sanna Camara, a local journalist working for a Banjul newspaper called The Standard, was detained by the police for accurately quoting the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO).  He was detained overnight in police cells when he refused to prepare and signed a cautionary statement in the absence of his lawyer in exercise of his right under law.

PRO - David Kujabi
Sanna Camara's problems started when he interviewed PRO David Kujabi about the problems of human trafficking that has become a topic of concern for Gambian parents, as it is for the United States Department of State.

In the 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, the US government  singled out Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela and The Gambia for taking insufficient action against human trafficking.

The United States State department downgraded the four countries to Tier 3, the lowest ranking it gives to countries with the lowest level of responses to the scourge of what tantamount to modern day slavery.

Sanna Camara's story appeared on the Friday edition that quoted PRO David Kujabi as saying 'police admits problems with human trafficking', a byline sufficient to send the young reporter to jail in a country that is increasingly becoming controlling, not only of the physical movements of its citizens but what they think and how they think.

There is no mention anywhere in the reporting that the police PRO disputes the quote ascribed to him by the reporter.  In the absence of such a contention on the part of the police why hold an innocent man for doing his job as a reporter.  Instead, Mr, Camara has been charged with "publishing false information and broadcasting" for accurately quoting an authorized and office police source who has not disputed any portion of the reporting.

Buried in the current fuss over the arrest is the admission of officer David Kujabi that "isolated cases of human trafficking are often brought to their attention," he denied that there are "organized rings" in The Gambia, implying that that may be organized rings operating outside the Gambia.

The police and higher authorities are aware of the existence of a ring that operates out of Lebanon that is engaged in the trafficking of Gambian women using the Gambia-Qatar Employment Agreement ratified into law in June of 2010 as cover to traffic in young Gambian girls in the Gulf.  The TIP cites the laxity in enforcement of human trafficking laws as reason for the downgrade.  The Gambian Ambassador to Qatar in brother to Jammeh with many other family members occupying less conspicuous positions within the enterprise to exploit Gambian women.  It, therefore, makes sense to look the other way because the Jammeh family is involved.

PRO made reference to the plight of Gambian women sold as prostitutes in Lebanon who recently pleaded for help.  He's now blaming the families in The Gambia for refusing to come forward with their complaints or asking the police to drop them altogether.  These people have lost credibility and the trust of Gambians to be taken seriously.  The regime is a criminal enterprise, and the sooner the rest of the world catches up with the majority of Gambians, the better.