Ceesay denied medical attention

Fresh reports have expressed fears that the radio journalist Alhagie Ceesay may succumb to sickness as he continues to be denied specialist medical attention by authorities in Banjul. Ceesay, manager of independent FM broadcaster Teranga FM has been remanded in state central prisons since July last year. He was twice abducted by secret police and faces six charges against him.

“The journalist is suffering from a rare kidney disease that requires specialist medical attention. However, the state is using charges against him to deny him bail, access to family and medical attention,” human rights campaigners have complained.

Ceesay faces charges based on allegations that he had distributed pictures by mobile phone of a gun pointed at President Yahya Jammeh "with the intention to raise discontent, hatred, and disaffection amongst the inhabitants of the Republic of The Gambia."

Government crackdown on journalist

Jammeh’s 22 years of suppressing freedom of expression in the tiny West African country is fraught with unorthodox ways of silencing critical voices. In this year alone, at least one union leader died in state custody under mysterious circumstances. Less than two weeks ago, two US senators, Richard Joseph Durbin, a senior United States Senator for Illinois and Patrick Joseph Leahy, Senator for Vermont, wrote to the West African dictator, urging him to release Ceesay.

That letter comes a month after more than 36 other freedom of expression organizations from across Africa and the globe petitioned President Jammeh to release Ceesay. On August 27 2015, the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions wrote to President Jammeh to explain the circumstances surrounding Ceesay’s detention. Notwithstanding, the government has failed to respond to any of these. It has however raised speculations that the young journalist is being used as an example to other radio stations to desist from broadcasting anything critical against the regime, especially in the run up to the December presidential elections. #Foreign Policy #World Politics #Government