News / Africa

Gambian Diaspora Declares Tuesday Day of Outrage

Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.
James Butty
Gambians in the United States and elsewhere around the world declared Tuesday a National Day of Outrage against President Yahyah Jammeh for the executions last month of nine death row prisoners.  

Pasamba Jow, one of the coordinators of the Gambia National Day of Outrage, said the executions violated the Gambian constitution.

“The purpose of this National Day of Outrage is to protest the barbaric executions of nine prisoners by President Yahyah Jammeh, after constant appeals from the international community for him not to carry out the threat that he gave on the day of Eid that he was going to execute all 47 death row inmates.  And, we are protesting because we believe that the very act was a violation of the Gambian constitution,” he said.

Jow said demonstrations were being held in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, Seattle, Washington, the northeast state of Rhode Island, as well as in the Norwegian capital Oslo, Denmark, Holland and London.  He said Gambians in New York will protest on Thursday.

He said all those who were executed did not receive a fair trial, as stipulated in the Gambian constitution, and the executions indicate how far Jammeh would go to maintain power.

But, Gambian Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy accused Gambians abroad and foreigners of politicizing the executions.  She said the executions were carried out in line with Gambian constitution. 

According to Gambian publication Daily Observer, Njie-Saidy said capital punishment was practiced in many countries, and she wondered why those countries were not being criticized.

Butty interview with Jow
Butty interview with Jowi
|| 0:00:00

Jow said the protesters are not politicizing the executions.  Instead, he said it was Jammeh who politicized the issue by violating the Gambian constitution.

“Mrs. Saidy, or Dr. Saidy, as they call her, is right.  There are so many other countries that have the death penalty, but those countries practice the death penalty according to the laws of their countries,” Jow said.

He said Gambian constitution requires that, before a person is executed, he or she must be granted a public hearing for the public to know the crime for which that person is being executed.

Human rights groups and the United Nations have accused The Gambian government of violations of human and political rights, including disappearances, detentions, excessive force and summary executions of political dissidents.

Jow agreed Gambians have not been as vocal in condemning Jammeh’s human rights record, but he said the executions have outraged Gambians.

“I think what has happened now is that for the first time I have never seen Gambians be this outraged collectively, and we are hopeful that maybe finally we have opened our eyes and realized that finally this will be the end of the Jammeh regime,” Jow said.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: mamadou nyang from: lagos
September 06, 2012 10:57 PM
its time for yahya jammeh to step down. gambians abroad have been protesting against jammeh but the gambains in the country are scared of protesting. jammeh controls the whole of gambia everyone seems to be scared of him but come on we gambian now have to stand and fight for our rights theisman does anything he wants take people property, destroy thier business kill our fellow gambian and yet we just keep quiet and do nothing about it. Gambia is not a peaceful country neither is do we have freeedom of speech, you say something against the president the next day your dead. we have been scared of this man for 18 years now and now that he wants to execute our fellow gambian without a proper trail we cant let that happen. we need to stand together and fight for our freedom because we deserve it.

by: Olof Njie from: Maryland
September 04, 2012 10:04 PM
Thanks Pa Samba for you bravery. Talking to friends and family in Gambia, people are scared to even show their emotions. Jammeh ordered his thugs to shoot anyone who comes out to demonstrate. What can we do to get rid of this tyrant??

by: Moussa Saine from: Boston
September 04, 2012 2:58 PM
I am surprised and dumfounded by the comments of Dr. Isatou Njie. This is a BIG SHOCK! I' ve never expected such comments to come from her. Anyway, Gambians now know which side she is leaning on. You are a mere poodle of Yaya! You should right away tender your resignation immediately. That's the only thing we are expecting from you. You have failed the Gambian population without Yaya you are nothing.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs