United Democratic PartyNew York City, U.S.A. Branch

P. O. Box 500

Bronx, NY 10453

udp_nyc@yahoo.com

 

To Mr. Swaebou Conateh

Editor and Publisher

The Gambia News and Report Magazine

Sere kunda, K. M. C.

The Gambia, West Africa

Email: swaebouconateh@hotmail.com

PH: 220 778-6920

January 5, 2008

Re: Awarding a man of the year, 2007 to President Yahya Jammeh:

We the members of the United Democratic Party {UDP} New York, U.S.A. Branch strongly object to your Magazine’s decision to award a MAN OF THE YEAR, 2007 to President Yahya Jammeh of the Republic of The Gambia.

Mr. Conateh, you are a living witness since day one of the so call July 22, revolution of AFPRC Junta now transformed to APRC which is regarded as a carbon copy how they have failed every single Gambia except those who want to play hypocrisy. Many Gambians whose aspirations were to see an improvement in the social, economical and political conditions in The Gambia continued to suffer from the dictatorial, terror and oppressive Mr. Jammeh’s regime.

President Jammeh has managed to take this peaceful nation and people hostage. He has made The Gambia a one man show where only Jammeh talks. Who ever want to live free and survive in the Gambia must sing or say YES to him. There is no freedom of speech, democratic Rights and free press therefore, one would wonder how, why and which criterion did you use to select such a dictator and brutal ruler to be a man of the year, 2007.

President Jammeh’s regime has banned the Independent Newspaper and sent the editors to exile, closed Citizen FM Radio and NewsPaper, frustrated the staff to an extend that the editor and publisher, the late Babucarr Gaye couldn’t survive it and the rest of the staff ran out of the country for their lives.

Mr. Swaebou Conateh, don’t ignore the various atrocities that President Jammeh has committed since he came to power on Friday, July 22, 1994 and is still committing the same crimes against humanity such as:

– The murder of former Secretary of State for Finance, Ousman Koro Ceesay, on Jule 23rd, 1995

– The arrest and torture of the {UDP} supporters: Momodou L Nyassi, Wassa Janneh, Yusupha Cham, Bolong Sanneh, Dembo Ara Sanneh, Late Dodou Sanyang, Ansumana Bojang, Late Sarjo Kunjang Sanneh from Brikama who were merely holding a congress where the Presidential guards and the NIA arrested them and were severely beaten and in some cases the genitals burnt on June 8, 1997;

– The massacre of 14 student demonstrators and and a journalist Omar Barrow on April 10th and 11th, 2000;

– The murder of Ousman Ceesay, a militant of the united Democratic Party {UDP} on October 16, 2001 during a political campaign;

– The assassination attempt of Human Rights Lawyer Ousman Sillah on December 26th, 2003;

– The assassination of journalist Dehda Hydara on December 16th, 2004;

– The killing of 5 top security personnel namely: Staff Stg. Manlafi Corr, Major Alpha Bah, Lt. Ebou Lowe, 2nd Lt. Alieu Ceesay and the former Director General of the {NIA} Mr. Daba Marenah on April 4, 2006;

– The extra-judicial killing of 50 African immigrants including 44 Ghanaians;

– The continuous and unjustifiable detention of journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh who was arrested by the NIA on July 7th, 2006;

– The continuous detention of Kanyiba Kanyi a {UDP} supporter from September 18, 2006 to date kept incommunicado without trial;

– The illegal arrest and torture of Madi Ceesay, the present President of the Gambia Press union;

– Justice delay is justice denial, a U.S. based Gambian Journalist Fatou Jaw Manneh who commited no crime other than speaking her mind is denied her rights by refusing to hear her case for more than 8 months since her arrest ;

Awarding President Jammeh with a Man of The Year 2007, from your weekly News and Report Magazine is an insult to your own News and Report Magazine, the families of those whom had their loved ones murdered by the APRC Government security agents and to all democratic , civilized and peace loving world.

We therefore, urge you to withdraw your award and maintain your Magazine position as a good weekly Magazine to play your rightful part by standing beside the Gambian people in their struggle to establish a genuine democracy, rule of law and promote the respect for Human Rights. By not doing just that you would be undermining and jeopardizing the good work that the following Organizations are doing: Committee to Protect Journalist {CPJ}, Media Foundation for West Africa {MFWA}, Reporters without Borders, Article 12, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

Sincerely,

Signed:

Saihou Mballow

For the Executive Committee

CC: Gambia online Newspaper

Cc: CPJ

Cc: MFWA

Cc: the Point

Cc: Article 12

Cc: Amnesty International

Cc: Human Rights Watch

Cc: State Department

Cc: American Embassy, Banjul

Cc: UK Embassy, Banjul

Cc: Commonwealth

Cc: African Abroad Newspaper

Cc: African Sun Times

Cc: West African news Paper

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