By Abdou Jeli Keita
I fled the Gambia on August 10, 2014 after I was unlawfully detained under very brutal condition for allegedly feeding wrong information to Gambians and enemies of the Gambia government base abroad and belonging to opposition parties, an accusations which are baseless. Prior to fleeing the Gambia, I was an employee of the national drug enforcement agency up to the time flee the Gambia. I have in the past worked as a journalist for Foroyaa Newspaper. I had to quit the journalism profession as a result of similar unlawful detention; I was unemployed for few years before joining the Gambia’s Prosecution Department of my current employer prior to fleeing the Gambia.
On the first and second day of august 2014, I was unlawfully detained and while under detention, I was shown all the stories I reported then as a journalist at Foroyaa newspaper from the internet; that I am still connected to media and feeds wrong information to enemies of the Gambia government like one Mr. Mbai with an online newspaper, whose first name I cannot recall. They also play me a video of my brother’s married ceremony to the daughter of Dr Sidat Jobe, the onetime Gambian foreign minister under the Jammeh administration, who resigne and fled the Gambia; in this video, I was seated among Dr Sidat Jobe my brother in-law and Ousanou Darboe leader of the biggest opposition political party in the Gambia whose presence was due to him belonging to the extended Jobe family from Fulladu region of the Gambia. According to them, because I was seated with these prime enemies of Gambia government, so I belong to the opposition and therefore an enemy of the government. I was brutally tortured under detention; the tortures left injures on my bodies.
Moments before my release from that unlawful detention, my torturers unequivocally told me that an enemy can never turn to a friend and once their enemy, I shall always remain one. They expressed their determination to go to any length in silencing the unpatriotic wolves in sheep’s clothing like myself. They also stressed their intention to harm me by emphasizing repeatedly that I have been black-listed and that all eyes are on me, They promised to come back for me so that I become history.
On the contrary, I do not see myself as an enemy of the government then in journalist, but stakeholder and partner in the development and prosperity of our motherland. Knowing that am very innocent of all the allegations made against me and that I still remain unsafe even in life outside journalism and judging them by their continuous brutality of patriotic and law abiding Gambians of my standing, I therefore deem it fitting and safe to flee my be-loved home land the Gambia and seek asylum and refuge with my family abroad then got killed by my so-called enemy.
On the issue of human rights, May i respectfully submit my conviction that the principle of human rights are as valid now as then, and that now as then their validity rests upon their universality. Indeed, as the world becomes increasingly interdependent, international community becomes increasingly accountable for the impact of their conduct.
I can be reached on phone at +221775929071 or via email at keita4justice@gmail,com.