Aug 21, 2014, 9:54 AM
On the seventh anniversary of his disappearance, the Gambia Press Union, GPU, has issued a statement once again expressing concern over the whereabouts of journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh, who went missing since 7th July 2006.
In a statement issued yesterday, the press union said whilst it welcomed the government’s decision to invite the UN to help in the investigation of Manneh’s case, it submits that the American Government should work with the Gambia Government and the United Nations, with a view to unearthing the truth about the whereabouts of Chief Ebrima Manneh.
Below we reproduce the full text of the union’s statement:
A Journalist clocks 7 in desertion
A Case of Impunity and Threat to National Security
Saturday, 7th July 2013 marked the seventh year of the disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh, a senior reporter with the Daily Observer newspaper. An eyewitnesses testified at the ECOWAS Community Court that he was arrested by plainclothes State security agents at his office in Bakau. Family sources have it that on the faithful day of his disappearance, he left home for work and never returned home.
Sequel to his disappearance, the Accra-based Media Foundation for West Africa instituted civil action against the Gambia Government. In their prayers, the NGO asked the community court to grant an order asking the Gambian authorities to release Manneh, who they believe is in state custody. Later, the ECOWAS court in Abuja, Nigeria, granted the prayers sought by the plaintiff and ordered the Gambia Government to release Manneh and to pay him a compensation of 100,000.00 US Dollars.
Following this decision, the Gambian Government through its Attorney General at the time, Marie Saine Firdaus, told lawmakers at the National Assembly in Banjul that Manneh was not in the custody of the state.
A former Attorney General, Edward Anthony Gomez, indicated in an interview with The Daily News newspaper that Chief Ebrima Manneh is alive, but did not give details of the whereabouts of the missing journalist.
Gambian Inspector General of Police Yankuba Sonko, told The Standard newspaper in an interview that Interpol had indicated to them that Chief Ebrima Manneh arrived in the United States of America, but did not give details of his trip.
President Jammeh himself said during an interview with media chiefs that he has no hand in Chief Manneh’s death.
Cindy Gregg, a former Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy told The Standard newspaper that the Gambia Government had written to the United Nations asking it to help in the investigation of the disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh.
Whilst we welcome the government’s decision to invite the UN to help in the investigation of the case, we submit that the American Government should work with the Gambia Government and the United Nations with a view to unearthing the truth about the whereabouts of Chief Ebrima Manneh.
We further submit that Interpol should clarify when Chief Ebrima Manneh arrived in the United States, and to provide details of his whereabouts.
Finally, we conclude by urging all those that know anything about the disappearance of Manneh to provide such details to the law enforcement agencies.