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.
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    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
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    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.

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    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.

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