The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has called on the Gambian Government to obey the ruling of the ECOWAS Court’s in the case of , Chief Ebrimah Manneh, the missing reporter for Daily Observer Newspaper.
Manneh was arrested by officers of the Gambia National Intelligence Agency (NIA) On July 7, 2006, following an attempt to republish an article he downloaded from the internet, which scrutinized the administration of President Yahya Jammeh. He has not been heard or seen since the arrest till date.
Since July 2006, The Gambia’s President Jammeh, former Minister of Justice Marie Saine-Firdaus former Attorney General Edward Gomez, Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko and senior government officials, have made conflicting statements about his whereabouts.
MFWA in 2007, litigated against the Gambian government, on 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 Gambian government to release and compensate him with an amount of US$100,000. The Gambia has still refused to respect the Court’s ruling. It has been 5 years since the court made the ruling for his release and compensation.
In 2009, Firdaus told the Gambian National Assembly that Manneh is not in the custody of the state.
However, in a 2011 interview with the Daily News, Gomez claimed that Manneh was alive, pre-supposing that the State has information on the whereabouts of Manneh.
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.
The organisation is also calling on Gambians, International and regional human rights groups, activists, governments, inter-governmental bodies and agencies to join in the campaign in compelling The Gambian government to respect the ECOWAS court ruling.
The organisation also calls on The Gambia to respect the freedom of expression and comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decisions.
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