Images of Torture

Click on the Images to see a larger view.

Reporters without borders release the above photos of the tortured body of a Gambian journalist at the hands of the security forces. Read the rest of the accompanying press release below:

Reporters Without Borders
Press release

6 June 2006

THE GAMBIA

We publish photos of journalist beaten by National
Guard while detained

Reporters Without Borders today published
photographs showing the marks left on the body of
a journalist from the blows he received from
members of the National Guard while detained
earlier this year in Gambia, where two
journalists are still in detention.

The journalist's identity and the circumstances
of his imprisonment are known to Reporters
Without Borders but are being withheld to protect
him. Gambia's National Guard is an elite corps
that is under President Yahya Jammeh's direct
orders and has its headquarters next to the
presidential building.

Reporters Without Borders calls on the African
Union, the European Union, the United States and
Taiwan - Gambia's leading political and economic
partners - to do everything possible to bring the
Jammeh regime's increasingly authoritarian
excesses to an end.

"The publication of these photos is an appeal for
help," the organisation said. "Gambia is sinking
into violence and despotism. Some political
detainees are clearly being brutally treated by
the Gambian National Guard. The international
community, including the leading African
democracies, can no longer remain silent. We
believe that the Jammeh government is not fit to
host the African Union summit, and that the
African Commission on Human and People's Rights
(ACHPR) should leave Banjul."

The most recent journalist to be arrested in
Gambia was Lamin Cham, a BBC stringer and former
editor of the Daily Observer, who was detained by
the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on 27 May
and was released today without being charged.
Malick Mboob, a former reporter with the
privately-owned Daily Observer and now the Royal
Victoria Teaching Hospital's spokesman, was
arrested on 26 May and is being held at NIA
headquarters in Banjul.

Cham and Mboob were picked up after their names
appeared on a list of subscribers to Freedom
Newspaper, an opposition news website edited by
Pa Nderry Mbai, a Gambian journalist living in
self-imposed exile in the United States. After
someone hacked into the website, the list was
published in Gambia by the pro-government Daily
Observer under the headline, "Freedom Newspaper
informers exposed."

The police are reportedly searching for other
journalists including Omar Bah, for whom a wanted
notice has been issued. Bar was the Daily
Observer's editor until he was fired last October
and replaced by a Jammeh loyalist.

The other journalist currently held is Lamin
Fatty of the privately-owned bi-weekly The
Independent, who was arrested at his home by
police on 12 April and was not allowed to see a
lawyer for more than a month. He was charged on
24 May with "publishing false news" under a
draconian press law providing for heavy prison
sentences. Despite the protests of local and
international press freedom groups, the law was
adopted in 2004, on the eve of the murder of
Deyda Hydara, the co-editor of the tri-weekly The
Point and correspondent of Agence France-Presse
and Reporters Without Borders.

The photos can been viewed here:
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=17935
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2 Responses to Images of Torture

  1. Cynthia says:

    I hope this is a wake-up call to the opposition leaders. What a shame…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ousman,
    This is Allen Meagher here, living in Ireland once again. I was a volunteer journalist with the NCAC from 1995-1998 and continue to read up on developments in The Gambia. I have written in Irish newspapers about the slaughter of former colleagues in The Gambia, ensuring the murders and detentions did not go unremarked in this part of the world. Is this the same Ousman Ceesay that took part in the GPU course in 1996? I remember you wore a pin-stripe suit! If so, I hope you are going well in life and wonder where you are now.
    For the second anniversary of Deyda’s murder, I wish to compile a new report. Give me a shout if it suits you. Email: allenmeagher@hotmail.com
    Allen

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