Yahya Jammeh, the President of The Gambia, who is a senior member of the African Club of ruling Dictators, has made a serious threat to eliminate anyone who attempts to ‘destabilize’ the Gambia. The President in a state broadcast message warned that the security of anyone who is affiliated with human rights groups cannot be guaranteed. He went on to say that he is ready to kill saboteurs. “If you think that you can collaborate with so-called human rights defenders, and get away with it, you must be living in a dream world. I will kill you, and nothing will come out of it.”
The statement was made prior to President Jammeh’s departure for the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Recently the President yielded to international pressure to release six journalists who had been falsely convicted for libel and sedition. This recent threat has resulted in the creation of an online petition by a coalition of pressure group, The Open Society Institute, whose Justice Initiative and the African Court Coalition are behind the petition to secure as many signatures as possible from non-governmental organisations involved in the work of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The petition will be sent to the African Union.
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