Gambia: 11 years on, justice for journalist’s death crucial

Those responsible for the enforced disappearance and death of Gambian journalist Ebrima Manneh must have nowhere to hide, Amnesty International said as its supporters from around the world are today sending solidarity messages to his family, holding vigils and releasing a video with a call for justice.

Today marks the 11th anniversary of Ebrima Manneh’s disappearance, following his arrest by officers believed to be from Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency. In January this year his family was finally officially informed by the police of his death, yet they still have no information about what happened or who was responsible. The family are not able to perform burial rites, as they do not know the whereabouts of his body.

“Thousands of Amnesty International members are today sending messages of solidarity and sympathy to Ebrima Manneh’s family, who deserve to know where, when, why and how their loved one died. Our members campaigned for years for him to be released and, now his death has been tragically confirmed, they want to support the family’s calls for justice,” said Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International West Africa researcher.

Thousands of Amnesty International members are today sending messages of solidarity and sympathy to Ebrima Manneh’s family, who deserve to know where, when, why and how their loved one died. Our members campaigned for years for him to be released
Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International West Africa researcher.

“The new government has made many positive commitments and taken concrete steps to pursue justice for victims of Jammeh-era human rights violations, and we are calling on it to independently investigate the enforced disappearance and death of Ebrima Manneh. Those responsible, either by virtue of their direct or command responsibility, should be brought to justice through fair trials.”

In 2008 the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice ordered the Gambian government to release Ebrima Manneh from unlawful detention and pay him compensation of $100,000. This judgment was never complied with.

Background

Journalist Ebrima Manneh was arrested on 7 July 2006 at the offices of the pro-government newspaper Daily Observer by plainclothes police officers who were thought to have been from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). No official reason was provided by the government for his arrest

On the anniversary of his disappearance, the family are also holding a special public remembrance ceremony for Ebrima. Amnesty International members across the world have spent years raising awareness about his case and campaigning for information about his whereabouts.