“When Yahya Jammeh assumed power through the barrel of the gun, there was some degree of our hopes that the People Progressive Party (PPP) regime that have failed in bringing development, that Yahya Jammeh is going to be different. We ended up realising that he [Yahya Jammeh] is a complete disaster for the country,” Dr. Amadou Scattered Janneh told this reporter.
The former Minister of Information’s remarks come on the heels of an ongoing campaign geared towards ending 20 years of fear in Gambia and which was launched on July 22nd, 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. Article 19, Amnesty International, RADDHO joined forces with other civil society organizations to denounce the rule of fear that has become emblematic of President Yahya Jammeh’s regime.
Dr Amadou S. Janneh, who was arrested in 2011 for printing and distributing T-shirts bearing the slogan “End Dictatorship Now” before being released through the intercession of Rev. Jesse Jackson, said the changes that have taken place in 1994 within the political sphere have plunged Gambia into arbitrary. “There is no democratic space in the Gambia, dissent is not allowed, prisons conditions are horrible, and Jammeh has succeeded in stifling free expression in the country.”
Taking the gloves off, Dr Janneh denounced the innumerable exactions committed by the regime over these past two decades forcing a growing number of people to flee Gambia in search for peace.
“Journalists, civil servants, and even religious leaders are fleeing for their life. You have extrajudicial executions on a regular basis. It is surprising that the Head of State plays a direct role in many of these incidents,” he said.
The tiny West African State continues to get spotlighted for its poor human rights record. As President Jammeh celebrates his 20 years in power, he is confronted with an unprecedented pressure mounted by civil society organizations calling on the regime to loosen its iron grip on its citizens.