The GAMBIA PRESS UNION did what an association should do to focus attention to the plight of a journalist who has disappeared without trace.
Chief Manneh was not working for a newspaper which is branded as anti government. He has not written any article which could be classified as a security threat to the state. He was never charged with a crime of sedition, false news or libel. He is not arrested in connection with any crime.
The evidence before Foroyaa links Manneh’s abduction to question of loyalty to or departure from the policy direction of the Observer Newspaper Family.
Apparently, Chief wrote what incited the disapproval of the Managing Director of the Company who tried to distance himself from the report by inviting the security forces to intervene.
The state, however, has washed its hands by claiming that he is not under their custody and has gone further to ask the UN to intervene.
The GPU has taken the right step to call a meeting to blow the whistle for all to remain alert that Chief Manneh is still missing.
Holding vigil to draw attention to the disappearance of Chief Manneh is one thing while putting the pieces of the puzzle together to trace his whereabouts or predicament is another. Foroyaa calls on the GPU to find out the content and context of the diplomatic steps taken by the state which has allegedly dragged the UN into the case, clarify the current role of the UN, if any, and advocate for quick performance of roles to reach a conclusive development on this matter. The GPU could prepare a petition for all journalists to sign to urge the UN to speed up any investigation if it has indeed accepted such a responsibility. Another remembrance day must not come without clarity on the role of the UN in this matter.
The Daily Observer Managing Director who could have provided the lead regarding his arrest and detention is no longer alive. Death comes to us all. None is immune.