Freedom of Speech in Gambia

 Jailed for crticising Gambian president



31st December
2008
  

Madman Mad at Being Called a Madman...


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British missionary couple jailed for calling Gambian president a madman

Gambia flagA missionary couple from Britain have been sentenced to a year's hard labour in an African prison for calling the Gambian President a madman.

David Fulton and his wife, Fiona, were convicted of sedition after sending critical e-mails about Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in the predominantly Muslim country in a bloodless coup in 1994.

Fulton and his wife were also fined £6,250 each. Their lawyer said that they did not plan to appeal but were hoping for a pardon.

The couple, who were arrested on November 29, pleaded guilty and issued a public apology in the hope of a lenient sentence but were shocked when the judge handed down the maximum penalty for the shocking offences . The presiding magistrate, said: They have shown no respect for the country, the Government and the President of the republic. I will send a clear message to the offenders.

Antouman Gaye, the couple's lawyer, said that their troubles began after they sent e-mails to friends and church contacts in Britain: Some of it was to do with religion, some was to do with the state of affairs in this country. Some e-mails said the President is a madman. It was very risky.

Unfortunately for them, a Gambian person in England who has a connection with one of these churches got hold of these e-mails and sent them back to the police here.

 

1st January
2009
  

Update: Gambian Madman Explains...


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British missionary couple jailed for comments about sharia law and churches being closed

Gambia flagThe Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has told the country's Christian leaders that the convicted British couple, David Fulton (and his wife, Fiona, tarnished the image of the country and personally attacked him by saying a lot of untruths about his government.

The Gambian leader said the couple went to the extent of writing to inform the Bishop of England that the Gambian government condoned the practice of Sharia law.

Jammeh said the couple alleged that they were attacked by Muslim groups and that they managed to escape.

In this country, as far I am the President and head of state, we will continue to be tolerant, accept all criticisms. We believe that only one God created all of us and if we are all created by one God we are equal [ ...BUT... We lock up anyone who criticises the president!!!]

Jammeh stated further that the couple wrote that I am moving fast on this as we have just managed to thwart an attempt at bringing Sharia law into The Gambia and the trade off was that 20 unregistered churches were closed down.

 


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