Tag Archives: Gambia

FPI’s Demba Kandeh to Speak on ‘Newest Trends on Censorship, Surveillance and Activism’ at 2017 RightsCon

29 Mar

He will talk about The Gambia’s case of protests, internet shutdowns and the eventual change in power (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/FPI/December 2012)

By Modou S. Joof

Front Page International’s editor-in-chief, Demba Kandeh, is among seven renowned speakers at the 2017 RightsCon to be held in the Belgian capital, Brussels from 29-31 March.

Kandeh will be teaming up with speakers from Freedom House, Paradigm Initiative, Facebook, and Digital Rights Foundation at the Crowne Plaza in Brussels where discussions will focus on the “newest trends in censorship, surveillance, and activism.” Continue reading

Grants to Gambia reduce by more than half in a year

1 Jan
Thumbs Down: For the first nine months of 2016, grant disbursement to the government stands at D242 million, much lower than D565 million it was in the same period of 2015. (Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/FPI)

Thumbs Down: For the first nine months of 2016, grant disbursement to the government stands at D242 million, much lower than D565 million it was in the same period of 2015. (Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/FPI)

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The Gambia: Internet Surveillance is an Emerging Problem

11 Feb
“As the report shows, both States and businesses are complicit in communications surveillance,” says Executive Director of APC, Anriette Esterhuysen.

A number of Gambian journalists fleeing persecution have seek refuge in neighbouring Senegal, US and Europe.

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The Gambia’s human rights under scrutiny: Rights groups raise concerns

28 Oct
Thumbs Down: Rights groups say human rights situation in Gambia “shrinking" (Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/FPI)

Thumbs Down: Rights groups say human rights situation in Gambia “shrinking” (Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/FPI)

By Modou S. Joof

The press freedom and free expression advocacy agency, ARTICLE 19, has raised concerns at Gambia’s “shrinking” human rights record Tuesday.

The Gambia, a small West African country which is no stranger to criticisms over rights abuses by human rights groups, opposition parties and journalists, is today (October 28, 2014) appearing before UN Human Rights Council for its Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

A statement from the multinational rights group says it calls for concerted regional and international efforts to “stop the violent repression against free voices and end impunity.” Continue reading

5 Reasons Why Jammeh Should Not Celebrate 22nd July

13 Oct

22nd July is seen by many as the most important date on the calendar of Gambians. It is almost a household name in the country thanks to the “remarkable efforts” of the AFPRC and now APRC and its allies. On that fateful day, two decades ago, former President, Dawda Kairaba Jawara was deposed in what has been described as a “bloodless coup”. Jawara’s overthrow was masterminded by a group of soldiers led by then Lieutenant Yahya AJJ Jammeh.

They identified themselves as the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) and Jammeh, 29 then, was the chairman of the AFPRC. As usual for putsches, the constitution was suspended, the borders sealed and a curfew implemented. While Jammeh’s new government justified the coup by decrying corruption and lack of democracy under the Jawara regime, army personnel had also been dissatisfied with their salaries, living conditions and prospects for promotion.

The coup did not receive much resistance from home but attracted international condemnation. But twenty years on, Demba Kandeh tells us why the coup should not be celebrated.

Jawara (R) and Jammeh (L) former and current president respectively
Jawara (R) and Jammeh (L) former and current president

President Jammeh has always likened his overthrow to a revolution; in fact, there are no 22nd July coup celebrations. What the soldier turned civilian president celebrates is the “22nd July Revolution” but what is the difference?

First and foremost, Jammeh should know that celebrating a coup sends a wrong signal. This is probably why the country has registered the highest number of reportedly foiled coups (not less five) during the twenty years under Jammeh as compared to only one under Jawara who was president for almost thirty years. It is time the putsches learn their lessons and understand that bloodless or not, a coup is a coup and is not worth celebrating at all.

 

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Dilemma of being an outspoken Imam, journalist in Gambia

4 Aug

You either speak “the government truth” or keep quiet, write authors.

 

Journalists can be detained on loose interpretations of the criminal law. In one case, two journalists (Baboucarr Ceesay & Abubacarr Saidykhan) were arrested for sedition when they applied for a permit to hold a peaceful demonstration (Photo Credit: The Daily News)

Journalists can be detained on loose interpretations of the criminal law. In one case, two journalists (Baboucarr Ceesay & Abubacarr Saidykhan) were arrested for sedition when they applied for a permit to hold a peaceful demonstration (Photo Credit: The Daily News)

By Lamin Jahateh & Modou S. Joof

Journalists and religious leaders, in this case Imams, have different but similar critical roles in enlightening the people on various issues and cultivating a culture of understanding – putting every issue into its right context and perspective.

Imams are expected to tell their congregations about religion, ethics and current affairs particularly those that have bearing on Islam.  Gone are the days when Imams would be called on only to lead prayers five times a day. People expect more and more from their religious leaders.

Being teachers of morality, Muslim clerics are under both divine and social duty to speak and if possible write against the ills in the society.  They have a moral responsibility and also the authority to speak out on any issue that affects their congregations. Continue reading

Outrage intensify over schoolgirls abduction in Nigeria

9 May
Boko Haram

Image depicts Boko Haram (Photo credit: AK Rockefeller)

By Modou S. Joof

There has been global outrage over the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the militant group Boko Haram on April 14.

Public protests are holding in Nigeria and across the world while the hashtag (#BringBackOurGirls) gains widespread notice on social media. The girls were taken from a school in the northern state of Borno and there whereabouts remains unknown amid growing anger in Nigeria.

In The Gambia, the Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices, Gamcotrap, and the Child Protection Alliance, CPA, has expressed a message of solidarity to Nigerian government and families of the girls. Continue reading

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