Gambia UPDATE: Jailed Human rights defender released and deported

Edwin Nebolisa Kwakaeme, a Gambia-based Nigerian human rights defender, who was jailed for supposedly giving “false information” to the office of President Yahya Jammeh in 2010, was on January 14, 2011 released and deported to his native Nigeria.

The Banjul Magistrate’s Court on September 6, 2010 sentenced Kwakaeme, the programme director of African in Democracy and Good Governance, human rights NGO, to a mandatory six-month imprisonment with hard labour and indefinitely suspended his organisation. He was ordered to surrender all documents of the organisation in his possession to the court and pay a fine of 10, 000dalasis (about US$ 330).

Before the sentence, the activist had been on remand for seven months. He was arrested on March 8, 2010 and detained for one and half weekly.

Kwakaeme, who was a publisher of a privately-owned quarterly Window magazine which reports on human rights violation in the Gambia, was arrested on March 8, 2010 after writing to the office of President Yahya Jammeh requesting him to make his daughter a goodwill ambassador to the ADG.

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