AI Condemn’s Dr. Janneh’s Arrest

Waato Seeta pix1By Abdoulie John

The Coordinator of the pro-democracy group Coalition for Change -The Gambia (CCG) was released on Friday from gendarmerie custody after being arrested for being in possession of T-shirts bearing the slogan “Jammeh Must Go”. Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh was a former Gambian Minister of Communication.

“He was held overnight at Karang Gendarmerie Border Post. I just spoke to him and he confirmed his release by the gendarmerie,” the Dakar-based Amnesty International West Africa Team Campaigner Francois Patuel told this reporter

The arrest of Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh comes in the wake of a campaign launched this week in Dakar by Gambian dissidents who issued a damning statement about ‘Gambia Government’s continued violations of human rights and its disregard of the country’s international obligations.’A former information minister, Dr Janneh was arrested in 2011 by the Jammeh regime for distributing printing and distributing T-shirts with the slogan “End Dictatorship Now, Coalition for Change – The Gambia” and sentenced by a Gambian court to life imprisonment. He was subsequently freed through the intercession of Rev. Jesse Jackson Snr.  Since then, he has been on the front line constantly pushing for democracy and rule of law to prevail in Gambia.

The Director of Amnesty International Senegal Seydi Gassama said his organization ‘strongly condemned’ the arrest and urged Senegalese authorities to stop “this kind of harassment.”

“To Distribute T-shirts is not an offense under Senegalese law. As long as people are not advocating violence, they should be free to express their opinion.”

While some observers are interpreting the incident as a ‘worrying development’, Amnesty International’s Seydi Gassama assured that he does not think that it is a deliberate policy by the authorities to harass Gambian dissidents in Senegal.

When contacted to shed light on the reasons that have prompted the arrest of Dr. Janneh, Adjutant officer of Mbaye Karang Gendarmerie Border Post referred us to his direct hierarchical superior. “I cannot comment on this issue,” he added.

Over these past twenty years, Senegal has been receiving an immigration flow  of Gambian refugees fleeing persecution. Many of them continue to campaign for the ‘restoration of a democratic regime’ in the tiny West African State.



  1. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Well, Luntango is smiling on reading this one (LoL)

    Firstly, I like Karang – that was where I went to collect my then 5 year old daughter and take her to UK in 2009.

    But to the amusing point of the story. I think Dr Scattred-Janneh was only kept in PROTECTIVE custody overnight! Surely, Karang must be full of The Gambia’s NIA who would have whisked Dr. Scattred-Janneh straight to Mile 2, without much hassle, if they had seen him.

    Come to think of it, Dr Scattred-Janneh himself might have organised his overnight accommodation with the Gendamerie. And them notorious T-shirts! Surely, them T-shirts might have started a shooting war at the border between Senegal & The Gambia – if the Gambia security at the post had seen anyone at the Senegalese Post wearing THAT t-Shirt!

    Everyone is going for crazy publicity now, first Bayo and Amadou Samba and now this … the Senegalese might get fed up of us soon (don’t forget they are trying to build THEIR bridge across The Gambia!).

    • Daida : Those who would sacrifice scurity for freedom deserve our gratitude.

      You call them attention seekers, but we Gambians call them freedom fighters.

      Who else would confront the dictatoship?? Take our politicians, they are bunch of Yo Yos, infact some of them think that presidecy is either popularity contest or High school debate.

  2. These two people should be commended, for their bravery.

  3. Luntango, Senegal getting fed up with us or not is immaterial insofar as their wish to build the long dreamt bridge over Gambia is concerned. They have, in the past, appeased the idiosyncratic professor of idiosy, and ended up not only having 2 of their nationals murdered by him but could not even get their bodies. The main hindrance to the bridge may well be the professor. Perhaps Senegal should learn from Taiwan, Imam Fatty, SGs Sabally & Bah to name but just a few.

  4. Luntango Suun Gann Gi


    This is the kind of essay question that Prof Dr Scattred-Janneh might have set for his students:-

    a) Luntango has a guest named Kemo-Ba.
    b) Kemo-Ba hates Luntango’s wife-beating neighbour.
    c) The wife-beating neighbour is peaceful to Luntango and Luntango’s family.
    d) Is it OK for Kemo-Ba, WHILE A GUEST OF LUNTANGO, to beat up the wife-beating neighbour?

    Please justify your answer.

  5. Daida. I have simple essay for you , Can a man divorce his wife while still in love? or how about this , Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid ?? Justify your answer.

    • Luntango Suun Gann Gi

      @ Malik:

      1. “Can a man divorce his wife while still in love?”

      Ans: Absolutely, if your beloved is bad for you and remaining married to her may lead to your own destruction!

      2. “Can a man still be brave while he is afraid?”

      Ans: Absolutely, it depends on which force is stronger – that of Flight or that of Fight. Take the humble hen in the village. Normally it is a coward and runs away from everyone – even from a two year old child. But if it has its chicks with her, that humble hen will fight the strongest man in the village!

      Do I pass, Malik? Please encourage Kemo-Ba to answer my essay questions!

  6. Haha Dida. A good essay question. I will say discuss Kemo-Ba

  7. Luntango, I am pretty sure that the least sophisticated of all Dr Janneh’s students (I don’t think he will like to be known as Prof + Dr simultaneously) will answer positively: that it is imperatively necessary and appropriate for Kemo-Ba to “beat the hell” out of the neighbour for the following reasons:
    a) On grounds of long-established principle of humanitarian intervention especially when the weak is being abused by the powerful, (Mualim Nyerere of Tanzania used it against Amin of Uganda);
    b) For self-defence;
    c) To stop the spread of this vile and contagious social mischief from spreading to the neighbourhood in case defenceless women folks start dying en mass in the hands of their violent and abusive husbands…
    d) The dangers of all the above are real, impending and menacing; and it will be irretrievably damaging to the society/community if allowed to continued unchecked.

    For those reasons you can see Dr Janneh will award a “distinction” mark to his thick-head student.

  8. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    @Kemo-Ba: Since you call the great Mwalimu (with a “w”) to your aid, I will give you an A grade for your revolutionary politics in beating up my vile but peaceful neighbour – even though the Constitution (PDOIS Kamalo will love this) vests the authority to correct my vile neighbour with the police and the courts.

    But I will give you an F for your ethics: Aristotle will certainly consider “beating the hell” out of your host’s neighbour unethical – unless you are doing so to protect yourself or your host.

    PS: Mwalimu was happy to let Idi Amin kill 300,000 or so Ugandans – until Amin decided to attack Tanzania itself.