- Five United States Senators have petitioned Gambian President Yahya Jammeh over the disappearance of the prominent journalist Ebrima Manneh three years ago.
According to a petition sent to President Jammeh from five American senators, the Gambian authorities owe the world and Mr Manneh's family an answer into his disappearance.
Mr Manneh, a journalist with the privately owned 'Daily Observer', has been missing ever since his arrest by members of the National Intelligence Agency on 7 July 2006. The Senators said the journalist was a prisoner of conscience therefore calling for on the Gambian government to shed light on his whereabouts.
"Three years without the government even acknowledging it took one of its own citizens without telling his family where he is being held this is reprehensible. It is outrageous," the Senators said.
In April, Reporters Without Borders pleaded with the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to meditate with the Gambian authorities in a case Mr Manneh.
Last year, an ECOWAS court ordered the Gambian government to free Mr Manneh and pay him compensation, but the government continued to deny holding him. In the ruling issued on 5 June 2008, the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which is based in the Nigerian city of Abuja, formally ordered President Yahya Jammeh's government to release Mr Manneh and pay him US$ 100,000 in damages.
Mr Manneh's reason for his arrest and detention never came to light and the Gambian government has always refused to provide any information about what has happened to him.
Mr Manneh was reportedly being held in a provincial police station in January 2007 and then in Banjul's infamous Mile Two prison in July 2007, before being transferred to a hospital. Gambian human right activists claim the country feared secret police NIA is holding the journalist on a secret place.
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