Dida Halake made this call yesterday and today, Lawyer Darboe is free!

Mr. President, I addressed you last in November 2011 and advised you, in the pages of this newspaper, to form a Government of National Unity (GNU). You did not heed my advice and decided to hold onto power for the next 5 years through mind-boggling brutality.

The most appalling and shocking of these brutalities was the torture and murder of Solo Sandeng, the torture and rape of the UDP-women and the jailing of UDP leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his colleagues – the most upstanding of Gambia’s citizens. You then got a truly “mercenary judge” by the name of Dada and jailed Lawyer Darboe and Co. for 3 years.

Shocked, I have never written about The Gambia since – for I was numbed by outrage at the fact that a man of Lawyer Darboe’s stature and character was sleeping on the mosquito and rat infested floors of Mile 2 Prison. Shockingly, you even ordered that the guards deny the prisoners their families’ home food when they came to court to be sentenced! A Gambian denying another Gambian food? Shocking, Mr. President. Remember when you were living as a poor man in Bakau Barracks and Ebrima Chongan’s family shared their food with you?

It is good to hear you talking of “reconciliation” Mr. President. But that means absolutely nothing if Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his UDP colleagues remain in Mile 2 Prison only to be freed by the new government of President-Elect Barrow.


Dida Jallow-Halake

Notting Hill,

London, UK

3rd Dec 2016.

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