Gambia: End cover-up of disappeared journalist's whereabouts or fate
Amnesty International today called on the government of Gambia to end the cover-up on the whereabouts or fate of the Gambian journalist Ebrima Manneh, who has been subjected to enforced disappearance since 2006.
Today marks five years since the disappearance of Ebrima Manneh. The Gambian journalist was arrested by plain-clothed police officers in July 2006 and his whereabouts are still unknown.
The family of Ebrima Manneh has been desperate for news of the journalist. Ebrima’s mother, Sula Ceesay has described the “trauma and pain” of her son’s enforced disappearance.
Sula Ceesay said:
“I am with trauma and pain because of my son’s disappearance. I am having sleepless nights and since he disappeared, my family do 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.”
The Gambian government has ignored requests for information relating to the whereabouts or fate of Ebrima Manneh, including from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), human rights groups and Ebrima’s family. Two years ago (2009), Gambia’s Attorney General and Secretary of State for Justice declared that Manneh was not in custody in response to a parliamentary question before the National Assembly and subsequently confirmed this during the Universal Periodic Review of The Gambia at the Human Rights Council in February 2010.
Amnesty International’s Individuals at Risk Campaigner Tom Davies said:
“The authorities in Gambia should end the cover-up of what has happened to Ebrima Manneh. If they cannot identify Ebrima’s whereabouts they should allow a thorough independent investigation into what has happened to him. For Ebrima’s family to go so long without any news about him is a cruel injustice.”
“Five years on the Gambian government is probably hoping that the world has forgotten about Ebrima Manneh. Far from it, Amnesty International will continue to campaign for Ebrima and will continue to urge the authorities to disclose his whereabouts or fate as quickly as possible.”
Since November 2008, Ebrima Manneh’s family has received more than 5,000 cards and letters of support from Amnesty International supporters in the UK. In 2009, Ebrima Manneh received special recognition at the Amnesty International Media Awards ceremony in London after being shortlisted in the Special Award For Journalism Under Threat category.
- Call for the release of Ebrima B. Manneh