Breaking News:NIA detains Journalist Fatou Jaw Manneh! Former GPU President Demba Jawo reacts!
By A Staff Writer

Agents of Gambia’s feared National Intelligence Agency, who acted on a Presidential order to arrest journalist Fatou Jaw Manneh have been busy grilling what our informants called  the “perceived political dissident.” who arrived in this country about a week ago, well placed state house sources unveiled. Ms. Fatou Jaw Manneh who never minces her opposition against “Jammeh’s totalitarian rule” was arrested as soon as arrived into the country. She ealier transited  through a neighbouring Senegal, before her arrival into the Gambia. Ms.Manneh has been residing in the United States for over a decade now. Ms.Manneh left the United States last week, Friday purposely to pay condolence to her departed father, who died some months ago. She was greeted by agents of the NIA upon arrival, who announced that she was needed for questioning by the agency. A Fearless Fatou, complied to join the agents who had since kept her under hostage. She is being questioned in relation to her past commentaries on the Freedom Newspaper, and other news outlets, NIA insiders said. It’s gathered that the journalist was bombarded with questions relating to her political affiliation,whether she still stood by her past commentaries against the President,the purpose of her trip among others. Fatou was also made to fill certain paper work while at the NIA. Agents handling her case were asking her questions that have no bearing with her trip. They tried to dig into her staus in the US  and why opposing the President over the years, NIA insiders revealed.

Fatou Jaw Manneh, a former Executive Member of the Save The Gambia Democracy Project, a US based Gambian pro-democracy group hailed from Sukuta. Her family and loved ones have been  devastated by the news of her arrest. Ms.Manneh has been denied access to her family, lawyer and decent treatment. It’s not yet clear what The Gambian authorities are up to, but reports reaching this paper say the President Yahya Jammeh has been the brain behind Ms.Manneh’s arrest. No charges has been brought against her yet. A popular women rights activist, cum political commentator, Ms.Manneh was also a former reporter with the Daily Observer Newspaper. She passes through the hands of the veteran Liberian journalist Kenneth Y Best, who was deported from the Gambia in 1994 by the then military junta headed by Chairman Jammeh. While at the Observer, Fatou  was very enterprising, as she publishes indept and informative commentaries on Gambia’s local politics.

In the meantime, the  former President of the Gambia Press Union Demba Ali Jawo has called on The Gambian authorities to release journalist Fatou Jaw Manneh.”I’m really disappointed that they have arrested her  virtually for nothing. Being critical of the Jammeh government doesn’t  make her a criminal at all. It’s quite wrong to arrest her for that. As a Gambian, she has all the rights to be critical of the government.” Jawo told the Freedom Newspaper.

Jawo says the government should let the journalist go.”I’m  calling  on the government  to release her  as soon as possible. Detaining  her for no reasons is not in the interest of the government or the image of the country. They should let her go.” said Demba Ali Jawo.

Mr.Jawo describes Fatou Jaw Manneh as a very good journalist and also  had been consistent over the years. Fatou, said Jawo has been critical of the deposed Jawara government and the Jammeh regime as well. The former GPU President says Fatou Jaw Manneh is not an opportunist and had always been consistent. “She is concerned about what’s going on in this country.She should be released immediately.”Jawo posited.

Our National Correspondent Landing Badjie has been assigned to monitor developments as they unfold. Up to the time of going to press, Fatou Jaw Manneh has been in custody. Meanwhile, anxiety and worry continues to grip her family. Fatou had grown up kids, some of whom are residing in the UK. She is the former wife of  onetime magistrate Lamin Darboe.

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Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 (Archive on Wednesday, April 25, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI

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