End the cover-up. Tell us where Ebrima is.
Today marks five years since the enforced disappearance of Ebrima Manneh and still his family wait to find out what’s happened to him. On 11 July 2006, the Gambian journalist was arrested by plain-clothed police officers and has not been seen in public since. It is not clear exactly why he was arrested and taken into custody. Soon after his arrest, Amnesty began to call on the Gambian government to disclose the whereabouts of Ebrima, and to release him as soon as possible. More than 5,000 letters of solidarity have been sent to Ebrima’s family by Amnesty activists since his enforced disappearance and hundreds of Amnesty supporters around the world have joined the campaign to demand information on Ebrima Manneh. Watch this video on Protect the Human to see how many people (and cats!) have asked the question: Where is Ebrima? Despite Amnesty’s global campaign, repeated calls from the Manneh family and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanding answers to where Ebrima is, the authorities in Gambia continue to obfuscate the truth about his wherabouts. Two years ago, Gambia’s Attorney General and Secretary of State for Justice, Mary Saine Firdaus, declared that Ebrima was not in custody. And just two months ago, a Gambian news website reported that President Yahya Jammeh indicated for the first time that Ebrima was no longer alive. President Jammeh is reported to have said: "Let me make it very clear that my government has nothing to do with the death of Deyda Hydara and Chief Ebrima Manneh.”Despite this reported comment, no official statement has been given to Ebrima’s family. Since his arrest and disappearance, Ebrima’s family has been plunged into despair and anguish. Ebrima’s mother, Sula Cessay recently told Amnesty International: “I am with trauma and pain because of my son’s disappearance. I am having sleepless nights and since he disappeared, my family does not know happiness… I am constantly praying to God to bring my son back and reunite with us and I believe that justice will prevail some day.”Five years on Amnesty International is calling on the Gambian government to put an end to the agony endured by the family and to reveal Ebrima Manneh’s whereabouts or fate. If they cannot identify where Ebrima is, then they should allow for a full and independent investigation into what has happened to him. Amnesty’s Director has recently written to the Gambian High Commissioner to the UKhat the family be made aware of Ebrima’s whereabouts or fate, and Amnesty activists continue to campaign for Ebrima. If you want to join the hundreds of others who are taking part visit www.amnesty.org.uk/manneh
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.