Document - Gambia: Serving life imprisonment for the printing and distribution of T-shirts in The Gambia: Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh

Dr amadou scattred janneh

Serving life imprisonment for the printing and distribution of T-shirts in The Gambia

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Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh, a Gambian national who also has USA citizenship, was arrested on 7 June 2011 for being in possession of T-shirts made by the NGO ‘Coalition for Change – The Gambia’ (CCG), which features the slogan “End to Dictatorship Now”. On the accusation of printing and distributing these T-shirts, Dr Janneh was charged with treason.

The particular offence reads that Dr Janneh and others conspired to “to overthrow the Government of The Gambia by unlawful means”. They intended to “cause or bring into hatred, contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of the President or the Government of The Gambia” by printing and distributing 100 T-shirts.

On 16 January 2012, Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Dr Janneh is currently appealing his sentence.

Dr Janneh is the former Minister of Information and Communication in the Gambian government. He taught for several years as assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, USA.

Dr Janneh is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

The conviction of Dr Janneh is a violation of his right to freedom of expression, assembly and association as guaranteed by the Gambian Constitution and international human rights treaties.

Climate of fear in the gambia

Journalists, human rights activists and political opponents in The Gambia are routinely subjected to human rights violations such as unlawful arrests and detentions, torture, unfair trials, harassment, assaults and death threats, making it extremely difficult for them to do their work.

In July 2006, Ebrima Manneh was arrested in similar circumstances and was subjected to enforced disappearance. The Gambian government claims that according to Interpol Manneh is in the United States. Yet he remains listed as a missing person on the Interpol website. Six years later his whereabouts still remain unknown to his family and friends.

In December 2004, Deyda Hydara, the former president of The Gambia Press Union, was unlawfully killed. No investigation has been carried out and no one has been brought to justice.

In October 2009, Femi Peters, an opposition leader in The Gambia, was arrested during a peaceful demonstration organized by his party the United Democratic Party. In April 2010, he was sentenced to one year imprisonment. Amnesty International members in over 50 countries wrote letters and signed petitions calling for Femi Peters to be released. He was released in December 2010.

amnesty international is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of dr janneh and for all charges to be dropped.

Take action now! Send a letter to the President of Côte d’Ivoire Dr Alassane Ouattara:

Expressing your concern that Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh and three others were arrested on 26 May 2011 for printing and distributing T-shirts and that on 16 January 2012, Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh was sentenced to life imprisonment;

State that Dr Janneh is a prisoner of conscience, and his imprisonment is a violation of his freedom of expression, assembly and association;

Urge Alassane Ouattare as President of ECOWAS to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr Janneh.

Send to:

Dr Alassane Ouattara

Boulevard Clozel�Abijan�Côte d’Ivoire�

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