Friday, 25 September 2009
Press Release: UDP and the Gambian People Shocked and Appalled of Jammeh's Death Threats!
The United Democratic Party and The Gambian people were shocked and appalled when they saw and heard the president, Yahya Jammeh, on GRTS utter the words he did on the HOLY day of Eid-Il-Fitr or "Koriteh". This is a sacred day for Muslims all over the world ushering in the end of Ramadan. It is a day that Muslims everywhere wish well for each other and humankind in general. Muslims pray to God to foster unity amongst all Gambians and bring prosperity to all.
Unfortunately, the president used this occasion to embark on his usual attacks on people he perceives to be opponents to his regime. It is obvious that human rights defenders operating outside the Gambia cannot be targets of his "I will kill you" threats. These threats are directed at the opposition parties and media practitioners that have been relentless in exposing the persistent human rights violations by his regime in The Gambia. The threat is also directed at those lawyers who have stood by and defended Gambians whose rights have been trampled upon by this regime.
These kinds of threats that Jammeh issues on state TV is unbecoming of a president. What people were expecting from him is to give some words of wisdom that would inspire Gambians to feel proud of themselves and to work harder for the development of the country. The Gambians did not expect him to promise them “blood” nor do they expect him to engage in the sort of ranting he did.
President Jammeh should be under no delusion that these threats will not weigh on the human rights defenders in The Gambia. He needs to come to terms with the reality that people in The Gambia have developed the culture of exposing human rights violations and there is "no going back".
EID-MUBARAK to all Gambians.
United Democratic Party Secretariat
Banjul, The Gambia
24th September, 2009