Gambia: we demonstrate again, for press freedom
The TUC, NUJ and Amnesty International were outside the Gambian High Commission again yesterday (21 July), this time to protest about the disappearance of journalist Ebrima Manneh, who vanished after posting material critical of the Government. Last time we were there (3 July), we were protesting about the trial on charges of sedition (basically, criticising the Government again) of the leaders of the Gambian Press Union, the NUJ’s sister organisation.
Jeremy Dear and I flanked Kali Mercier of Amnesty as she hand delivered an album of photos of actions around the world where people held up “Where is Ebrima?” signs, along with a letter from our three organisations. The Gambian High Commission only allowed Kali in to deliver the letter – they said they would investigate Ebrima’s disappearance (but we’re fairly sure they already know where he is…)
Our message was clear. While freedom of association and freedom of speech is denied in the Gambia, we will use our freedoms to protest. The Gambian President can shut up his own people, but we can carry on speaking on their behalf.