The Gambia’s Information and Communication Ministry has re-assured Gambian and non-Gambians that their freedom of expression rights are still guaranteed.
In a statement, the government “acknowledges that Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, a political science lecturer at the University of The Gambia was invited by the police for questioning on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, over comments in an interview granted to The Voice newspaper issue of the same day.”
In the said interview story captioned ECOMIG Wouldn’t Prevent Long Term Security Risk If…, Dr. Ceesay said “the presence of the regional forces in the country will not prevent long-term security risks if the president does not win the trust of the army.”
He believes “Many Gambians do not understand the army during Jammeh’s era. I can tell you that over 75% of Gambia’s military men will not die for Jammeh. They just don’t have a choice. It was not just the army that was following Jammeh. What about the ministers who were around him? So many people thought that the whole army was loyal to Jammeh but soldiers will tell you that Jammeh had more sophisticated weapons at State House than all other camps put together.”
According to the government, “Dr Ceesay who was subsequently released the same evening following questioning on security related issues he referred to in the newspaper interview preferred to spend the night at the Police Headquarters, insisting that he needed to wait to talk to his lawyer.”
The government solicits the understanding of the general public in such matters and reassures Gambian citizens and non-Gambians resident in the country that their fundamental rights to free expression as enshrined in the Constitution will be respected.