As Journalist Abdou Karim Sanneh Wins Asylum Case, He Thanked Gambians!!!!
For all those people that saved me from been fed to the shark
By Abdoukarim sanneh
Freedom of speech and expression is been criminalized, with the murder of Journalist Omar Barrow, Deyda Hydara, the trial of Lamin Fatty and Fatoujaw Manneh and many, it worth thanking all those people and organisation who stands for me to be given protection in United Kingdom. I am safe from been brought in front of a kangaroo court presided over by mercenary judge, or magistrate under a legal system to pressure from the executive interference to jail, what they termed as enemies of the regime. The witness that will appear in camera will be security operatives, and charges will be sedition and defamation. It could be a physical and mental torture for them to extract evidences from me. Under their custody in hellish Mile Two Prison, where prisoners are dying in their numbers, I could be a victim of enforced disappearance while in state custody.
With that prevailing reality my family and I have to first acknowledge the good legal representative I was privileged to have gotten from the Former Refugee Legal Centre, now Refugee and Migrant Justice- www.rmj.org.uk
The professional team of lawyers, whose mission is defending the human rights of migrants, and refugees in all over United Kingdom. I first extend my thanks to Tanya Todman in their Leeds Office, who first start working on my case, prior to my detention at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport.
After my detention on the 10th February, I have been put on the Fast Track Non Substantive Asylum Process with no on- country right to appeal my file, which was transferred for delivery through a special courier to their West London office to the most humble, hard working young lady with a the diligent care- Flora Robertson. She has not been a case worker, but with all these seven months, she was just I can said like a mother and son. When ever, I cry she was my ‘sweet mother’- for be it welfare matters such accommodation, emergency support payment, heath care provision. She will be over the phone complaining that unacceptable manners whenever there is delay leading to deliberate subjection of me into difficult situation of further hardship.
With a looming threat of forceful removal to Gambia and been wanted by the corrupt brutal dictatorial regime, and putting into context Fatoujaw Manneh's trial and inhumane removal of Sheriff Bojang Jr and his narrow escape from the dictator's henchmen, I began to wander during my first night in detention what will happen to me.
Spending all these years campaigning against the continued trend of criminalisation of our nation state, if I remain silence I will betrayed the progressive Gambian community. With the case of Fatou and sheriff many list members in all the forums reduce the traffic flow critical views in challenging the prevailing madness which a daily ritual to many of us. I thank the cyber community in the Diaspora. All of you did your bit to advocate for me to be given international protection. It would not have been possible without your tireless efforts of working corporately with Flora Robertson. The case gave her the opportunity to know more about 15 years of prevailing madness of Yahya Jammeh's misrule and even its impact of creating a lost generation of trained Gambians in all fields of science, humanity, social science etc.
Today, Flora Robertson is an expert on Gambia on her own rights. To build a defence in my case, she was able to request for the services of Professor Arnold Hughes, Professor Emeritus of African Politics and a former Director of the Centre of West African Studies at The University of Birmingham England. Professor Arnold Hughes research on Gambia started well before I was born and have written three books and over 70 journal articles. The latest book is the historical dictionary of the Gambia covering events up to 2008. Professor Arnold Hughes report was well written and detailed. Thank you Flora for involving one of the world’s leading expert, who has been advising not only the British Government on Gambian matters, but all United Nations and other International bodies.
On behalf of Flora Robertson, I also want to thank the following organisations and individuals such as Tom Rhodes Africa Program Coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalist (New York). Prisca Orsonneau Refugee Desk at Reporters Without Borders in Paris, Paul Dillane Refugee Programme Director Amnesty International UK and all those working in the West Africa and Gambia Team at the International Secretariat, Jim Boumelha President of International Federation of Journalist, Jeremy Dear General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet of National Union of Journalist in Britain and Ireland. The strong statements of your organisations concern about the risk of serious harm should I be forcibly returned to The Gambia was put into consideration by UK Government.
Given that I am now given protection, my Local MP Honourable Lyn Brown for West Ham Constituency, will continue to be the focal point in my campaign on Gambian matters. Having now gotten a true picture of massive human rights violations, I will continue to raise Gambian issues with Hon Lyn Brown, especially with enforced disappearance of chief Ebrima Manneh, Kanyiba Kanyi and others to prevail on Gambia matters especially within cross party parliamentary committee on Africa. Thank you for prevailing on the Home Office on my behalf.
I have to thank Professor Abdoulaye Saine of Maine University, Ohio for raising the concern to Her Majesty Foreign Secretary. Given that I cannot name each and every individual in person but have to give my special thank to Barrister Lamin Darboe, Dr Ebrima Ceesay, Saikou Mballow, Ebrima Sankareh, Babagalleh Jallow, FatouJaw Manneh and James Bahoum all of who that their time to write a witness statement on my claim.
I want to thank all the online papers, such as theGambiaecho, Senegambianews, Allgambian, Freedom and Gainako, Maafanta and Gambiajournal. I will continue as a moral and social responsibility to campaign for rule of law, social justice, democracy and human rights in the Gambia. Glazing the political and economic crimes inflicted on Gambia, the pursuit is no retreat no surrender and Gambian political matters to me as a citizen.