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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Ebrima Manneh

 

Ebrima Manneh is a journalist and was arrested in July 2006 by officers believed to be from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).  He has been missing ever since.  There are conflicting reports for the reason of his arrest.  According to some sources, he was arrested following a disagreement with the managing editor of the Daily Observer, a close ally of President Yahya Jammeh.  Other sources claim that he was arrested after he attempted to give information to a foreign journalist, deemed damaging to the country's image.  Other sources link his arrest to his alleged attempt to print a report which was critical of the government in the Daily Observer.  After repeated attempts by his father and many fellow journalists to find out what happened to him, the government issued an official statement on February 21, 2007 denying any involvement in Manneh's arrest or any knowledge of his whereabouts. In 2007, the Media Foundation for West Africa filed an application on behalf of Ebrima Manneh to the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), summoning the Gambian government to answer charges over his disappearance. In June 2008, the ECOWAS court decided that Ebrima Manneh's right to liberty and to a fair trial had been violated by the Gambian government, and it ordered the Gambian authorities to release Manneh from unlawful detention without delay; restore his human rights, including his right to freedom of movement; and provide him with $100,000 as damages. Although the international community hailed this decision, there has been no response from the Gambian government.

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