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KANYIBAA KANYI HUDDLE

In Gambia, there is a young man who was working for the Christian Children’s Fund – CCF (now Child Fund) in a town not far from the capital Banjul. On the night of September 11th, 2006, as he sat in front of his home, four other men pulled up in a taxi with no license plate(tag). They asked the young man what his name was. When he told them his name, they requested he get in the car for a trip to the NIA (National Intelligence Agency). The young man asked if he could be allowed into his house to change into some clothes and shoes. The abductors refused him re-entry into his house and forced him into the taxi. Kanyibaa Kanyi’s young wife, who was pregnant with the couple’s first son pleaded with the abductors to no avail.

Friends, we have decided to dedicate this page to the Freedom of Kanyibaa Kanyi. We will share with you the life of Kanyibaa Kanyi and the events leading to his abduction. We will also share with you who abducted Kanyibaa Kanyi. We encourage CCF (now Child Fund) to double their efforts in securing the freedom of Kanyibaa and to consider the safety and freedom of all their employees and volunteers as they continue to share christianity through good work and secours. Philanthropic work is difficult especially in remote parts of the world. We advise due-diligence in personnel safety be a cornerstone of project implementation for all philanthropic organisations and NGOs.

Thank you friends and we encourage you to assist us in yielding freedom for Kanyibaa Kanyi and his young family. As SOS Children’s villages enables orphans in Gambia and elsewhere, more orphans are needlessly created by those who ought to know better.

Kanyibaa Kanyi abducted in Gambia by the NIA since 9/11/06

Kanyibaa Kanyi abducted in Gambia by the NIA since 9/11/06 

Kanyibaa's Orphaned Son. Now 1yr. 7 mnths. 

                       Abdousalam – 1 yr                          3-4 yrs.

The orphan of Kanyibaa Kanyi

_______________________________________________

Who is Kanyibaa Kanyi?                       Does it really matter?

We share with you an updated redaction of Amnesty International’s Report entitled: Gambia: Fear Rules beginning on page 17 –2.

OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS AS VICTIMS OF
ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE

In Gambia, opposition politicians and their supporters, when perceived to gain too much power and threaten the status quo, can be at risk of becoming victims of enforced disappearance. Since the 2006 presidential elections Amnesty International has documented at least three people who have become victims of enforced disappearances. In October 2007, Ousman “Rambo” Jatta and Tamba Fofana, the two men previously considered victims of enforced disappearance, were released. Amnesty International remains concerned about Kanyiba Kanyie.

Tamba Fofana, Kanyiba Kanyie, Ousman “Rambo” Jatta, all United Democratic Party (UDP) supporters, the main opposition party to the government, were arrested on 13 September, 18 September and 25 September 2006 respectively. All these arrests are reported to have been linked to the men’s political activities and occurred around the period of the presidential election which took place on 23 September 2006.

Tamba Fofana, a school teacher and UDP opposition supporter, was reportedly picked up by soldiers on 13 September and taken to the police on accusations of “anti-state” activities. Throughout his unlawful detention his family had no contact with him and the police denied knowledge of his whereabouts. He had been held in a secret detention centre at the Fatoto police station for the majority of the time that he was in the custody of the government until his release on 13 October 2007. Fofana was never presented with an arrest warrant, told what he was being held for or actually charged.

Ousman Rambo Jatta, a locally elected counsellor for Old Cape Ward in Bakau, was arrested at his office on 25 September by two plain clothes policemen. He was forced to drive his own car to Bakau police station accompanied by the police. For over a year, Jatta was transferred to various secret detention centres and then spent the majority of the time in Sara Ngai police station until his release on 13 October 2007. While in detention, Jatta reported regularly being denied food and water. He suffered from malaria and was denied access to medical treatment. Until his release more than a year later, his family had not had any contact with him. It is reported that his enforced disappearance was connected with his popularity as an opposition politician and that he had reported irregularities in connection with the presidential election, particularly the illegal registration of scores of Cassamance-Senegal citizens. Just three months earlier, in June 2006, Jatta was arrested and detained in Mile 2 for 13 days until he was charged with using abusive language and threatening the security of the state, reportedly because of a speech that he made at the African Union (AU) summit held in Gambia between 24-25 June 2006. His trial was ongoing when he disappeared on 23 September 2006. His family said that, prior to him being elected a local councillor in 2005, he had never had any problem with the police.

On 18 September Kanyibaa Kanyie, an employee of the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF), now Child Fund, an international non-governmental organization, was arrested by security agents in Faraba, when he stumbled upon an APRC political planning meeting as he carried out his work for CCF, now Child Fund. While at the meeting, he was accosted by APRC officers Nfansu Jung Conteh and then Interior Secretary Baboucarr Jatta and later that evening while conversing with friends outside his home, he was arrested by two non-uniformed state agents in an unmarked vehicle. The modus operandum eerily resembles those used in Chief Manneh’s abduction, the Deyda Hydara assasination, and the arson on several private radio and newspaper sites. Kanyibaa’s abductors took him to the local police station and then to Banjul police station where he was questioned by the crime management coordinator. Since his arrest, he has reportedly been moved around to a number of remote police stations. However now he is believed to be in Mile 2. It is alleged that his abduction is also linked to his popularity as an opposition politician. Since his arrest no family members have seen him and the government denies that he is in their custody.

On 17 October 2006, bail was paid for both Jatta and Kanyie, and the High Court ordered the state to release the two men unconditionally. The government, through the Ministry of Justice’s office, denied that they were holding either of the men. Later that month, on 30 October 2006, the lawyers sent a letter to the Secretary of State of the Interior reminding him that their clients were still in detention. Again the NIA and the police denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the two men, despite sworn affidavits by people who had seen and heard the police and the NIA arrest them and take them away. On 5 June 2007 the lawyers submitted an application for a writ of habeas corpus to demand that the state release these two men on the grounds that any person arrested or detained shall be informed as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any case within three hours of what they are being held for, as stipulated in the Constitution. The writ cites minutes of a meeting where the Secretary of State for Interior, Baboucarr Jatta, confirms ordering the arrest of both men. The court issued the writ of habeas corpus ordering the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General in the matter of Ousman “Rambo” Jatta and the Director General of the NIA and the Attorney General in the matter of Kanyiba Kanyie, to produce the men at the court on 7 June 2007. The two respondents in each case were to provide the court with the reasons for the imprisonment and the continued detention. The government did not comply with the High Court’s request. Jatta and Fofana were finally released on 14 October 2007 after two Amnesty International delegates saw Jatta at Sara Ngai police station where he was being held as a “state detainee”. In January 2008, several months after his release, Jatta gave a sworn affidavit regarding his unlawful detention which had lasted for over a year.

Today Kanyie remains in detention, abducted, and kidnapped.

The full unredacted AI report can be accessed in pdf by clicking on the link below:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR27/003/2008/en/30a2b452-ac16-11dd-82c3-e1668308520f/afr270032008en.pdf

Chief Ebrima Manneh
Photo Courtesy:  Senegambianews
Chief Ebrima Manneh was abducted by a similar criminal band of NIA officials who were sent by interior minister Jatta to apprehend Manneh at his place of work with the Daily Observer newspaper alleged to be co-owned by Yahya and lawyer cum businessman Amadou Samba. Chief Manneh was accused of re-publishing a report originally published by the BBC exposing the graft perpetrated in the activities leading to Gambia’s hosting of the AU summit.

Both Chief Manneh and Kanyibaa Kanyi have been moved from police precinct to precinct when information about their detention location was feared to have leaked. This to avoid their families from visiting with them or for Red Cross or other officials to ascertain their health conditions. Chief Manneh was seen once at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital where he received treatment for injuries he sustained while he was abducted and tortured. He was under NIA guard. The courts have instructed the NIA to present Kanyibaa Kanyi for trial but those instructions were ignored.

We appeal to the UN Secretary General Hon. Ban Ki Moon to request from President Yahya Jammeh to see Kanyibaa Kanyi and Chief Ebrima Manneh in order to ascertain their continued life and good health and to seek access for their families so that they can visit with their loved ones regularly. We challenge the International Red Cross and The Red Crescent societies to request this permission of Yahya Jammeh in order that they may establish the health and detention conditions of Chief Manneh and Kanyibaa kanyi. It is odious and irresponsible for these two organisations to continue operating in Gambia in casual disregard of the spectacular human rights abuses and general state of decrepitude.

The GDP.

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