Impose travel ban on senior officials of the dictatorship in The Gambia
Gambia has been under a dictatorship for over 21 years during the period when citizens and non-citizens alike have been subjected to extra-judicial executions, torturing, maiming, assassinating, forced disappearances including involuntary exiling opponents - both real and perceived - with no end in sight. We welcome the State Department's recent Press Statement that insisted on the release of political prisoners, including the radio journalist who has been abducted for the second time in a month, and tortured, on both occasions at the hands of the notorious National Intelligence Agency. But The United States must do more. The radio journalist that was referenced in the State Department's Statement has been produced by the authorities but he has been accused of sedition for sending images by email to friends that depict the Gambian dictator with a gun in one hand and a cell in the other. In The Gambia, depicting the president in unfavorable light constitutes a seditious act. The LGBT community has also been under extreme pressure lately from a dictator who continually threatens members with slitting their throats. And since enacting into law, the anti-LGBT law obnoxiously referred to the "aggravated homosexuality" law, members of the security forces have been rounding up those identified by informers as gays or lesbians, jailing and torturing them. Although all those known to be in custody have been released, the danger to their lives, liberty and freedom still persists. Ordinary Gambians have continued to be denied their fundamental rights and freedoms to live in dignity since the army seized power in 1994. The human rights environment continues to deteriorate with no sign of improvement. Ordinary Gambians are still been arrested and held for years without charge. We support the numerous human rights organizations such as Human Rights Campaign and Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in urging the U.S. Department of State to impose travel ban on senior officials of the dictatorship in The Gambia.
Jefferson Waterman International & Ambassador Jackson McDonald (ret.): To stop lobbying for Gambian Dictator Yahya Jammeh
This is important because of who Yaya Jammeh is. He seized power from a democratically elected government in 1994. He's been ruling The Gambia with an iron fist ever since. MEDICAL QUACKERY - In January 2007, Jammeh claimed he could cure HIV/AIDS and asthma with natural herbs much to the consternation of the International Health Authorities, including the WHO and UNDP. Fadza Gwaradzimba, the resident Representative of the UNDP in The Gambia was expelled from the country after she expressed doubts about the claims, and concern that the remedy might encourage risky behavior. - In August 2007, Jammeh claimed to have developed a herbal infusion that could treat high blood pressure. - Jammeh had also claimed to have developed treatment for infertility in women. - All of the above medical claims are, of course, without foundation and they have all been refuted and condemned by international medical and donor communities alike. Yet Jammeh continues to conduct clinics and perform treatments on patients who would have otherwise received treatments in officially-recognized treatment centers thus putting their lives at risk. GAYS - On 15th May 2005, Jammeh announced that his government would introduce that would set rules against gays and lesbians that would be " stricter than those in Iran'. He also threatened to 'cut off the head of any gay or lesbian discovered in The Gambia" he ultimately issued an 'ultimatum' to the gay and lesbian community to leave the country or face the full force of the law. EXECUTIONS - On August 26, 2012, Nine death row inmates ( including two foreign nationals ) were summarily executed on orders of Jammeh without due process and contrary to statutory and constitutional requirements. International outcry caused Jammeh to suspend further executions of 38 death row inmates still in custody. OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES - Journalists are a favorite target of the Jammeh dictatorship. Several have gone missing. Others have been arrested, jailed and tortured, while numerous others are in exile in Africa, Europe and the United States. - Two American citizen of Gambian heritage have recently been rescued from the notorious Mile 2 Prisons in The Gambia by Reverend Jesse Jackson. These two were accused of treason for what the government claimed was an attempt to overthrow the government. Ambassador Jackson McDonald who has served honorably as U.S. Ambassador to the Gambia is now a senior Vice President to a lobbying group called Jefferson Waterman International with addresses on K - Street in Washington DC. I find it unacceptable that a former Ambassador to The Gambia will sign up as a K-Street lobbyist to spruce up the image of a dictator who threatens to "cut off the heads of gays and lesbians" and to usher in laws more stringent than those found in Iran. It is equally repugnant for a former U. S. Ambassador to be associated with a dictator whose security forces opened fire on high school students killing 12 for peacefully protesting an earlier death of a fellow student at the hands of the same security forces.