Wednesday, July 17, 2013

EU calls for swift enquiry into Chief Manneh’s disappearance

“His disappearance has now transcended press freedom matters, it is both a national and a universal human right concern,” according to the EU.
The European Union (EU) Delegation to The Gambia has called for a swift enquiry into the disappearance of Gambian journalist Ebrima B. Manneh “Chief” who went missing seven years ago.

 Once again, the EU welcomes The Gambia Government's decision taken in 2012 to invite the United Nations, UN, to help in the investigation.

“This enquiry should proceed swiftly. Justice delayed is Justice denied,” the EU Delegation said on Tuesday.

The whereabouts of Manneh, a reporter for the Daily Observer newspaper, remained unknown.

“His disappearance has now transcended press freedom matters, it is both a national and a universal human right concern,” according to the EU.

Let us remember Chief Manneh by calling for adherence to the due process of law, the EU said in a brief July 16, 2013 statement.
 
Six days ago, the Media Foundation for West Africa, MFWA, launched a campaign dubbed “MFWA Take Action”

The campaign is in a form of a Petition to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré OUEDRAOGO – for which the MFWA is “entreating all Gambians, International and regional human rights groups and activists, governments, inter-governmental bodies or agencies to join the campaign, calling for The Gambia to respect freedom of expression and comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decisions”.

People are urged kindly sign (write name & country) on a draft petition and send to info@ecowas.int and copied to info@statehouse.gm and alerts@mediafound.org.
“The MFWA, on the occasion of the 7th year of his disappearance calls on the ECOWAS Commission to compel the Gambian Government to respect the ECOWAS Court’s ruling on Manneh,” a July 10 statement said. 
The MFWA in 2007, litigated against the Gambia Government, the case of Manneh’s arrest and disappearance at the ECOWAS Court. The Court in a ruling the following year (June 2008) declared Manneh’s arrest and detention illegal and ordered the Gambia Government to release and compensate him with an amount of US$100,000.

However, the Gambia has, to date (5 years since the ruling), refused to respect the Court’s ruling, according to the free press and free expression watchdog.

“Chief Manneh was on July 7, 2006 arrested by officers of the Gambia National Intelligence Agency (NIA) following an attempt to republish an article he downloaded from the internet, which was critical of President Yahya Jammeh’s administration,” the MFWA said.

Written by Modou S. Joof
 
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