By Alagie Manneh
Almost a week after being charged with false publication and broadcasting, human rights activist Madi Jobarteh yesterday reported back to the Kanifing police only to be told his bail has been extended to next Monday.
A leading pro-democracy advocate and human rights fighter, Jobarteh was expected to be arraigned in court yesterday but prosecutors said the IGP is not quite done with the opinions filed to him. As a result, Mr Jobarteh has been told to report back on July 13.
He has been charged with false publication after he accused the government of failing to investigate the deaths of three Gambians who died at the hands of security forces.
He was accompanied by members from the civil society, media and other pro-democracy advocates who accused the police of trying to stifle dissent.
John Charles Njie, the chairman of The Association of Non- Governmental Organisations, Tango, called Madi’s detention and potential trial “shameful and disheartening”.
He added: “When public officials get into public office, they think they can become dictators and when they leave, they slide back into civil society. We are saying no more; we will shame you anddisown you and cannot allow you to use us. We will not be intimidated.”
A small crowd in front of the station later chanted in support of Madi: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Meanwhile the case of Jobarteh has attracted international media attention. The New York Times made the following comment on the matter: “When a Gambian man was recently shot by the police in the United States, the government of the West African country called for an investigation. But when the activist Madi Jobarteh called for justice for victims of police brutality at home in The Gambia, as well as in the United States, he was arrested.”