By Mustapha Jallow & Modou Jarju
The Gambia Police Force has on Wednesday extended the bail for a Gambian activist – Madi Jobarteh to Thursday.
Jobarteh remarked: “The Police have failed to inform me as to who ordered for my questioning and then extended my bail.’’
He was speaking to the press at the Kairaba station, immediately after he reported to the said station. He was asked to report tomorrow at 10am.
The human rights activist claimed that the country is now moving towards dictatorship, adding that ‘what is happening now in the country is a push towards dictatorship and not democracy’.
He has since been charged for spreading false information and broadcasting in accordance with Section 181A (1) of the criminal code.
Jorbateh said: “When citizens can’t hold government to account then that means we are going to have a situation of dictatorship – as that means we are going to have a state that is unchecked, hence unchecked state is dictatorship.’’
He also talked about the arbitrary closure of media house and assault of Gambian journalists, which he added, were signs that are worrying for ‘our democracy’.
Commenting on the Police, the activist said: “The Police is supposed to be independent and professional. It is supposed to be an institution who will act according to the law, but not according to the opinion or to the orders of someone particular when it concerns violations of the rights of citizens.’’
He was on 30th June, invited for questioning by Police detectives at Kairaba station. His questioning was related to a comment he made on his social-media platform regarding an interview he (Jobarteh) made at the “Black Lives Matter” protest he led on Saturday.
He was quoted as saying that the government didn’t do enough to ensure justice for the late Haruna Jatta a peaceful protester who was reportedly killed by a member of the ECOMIG Forces that were stationed in Kanilai, Ousman Darboe who was also reportedly allegedly killed by officers at the Anti-Crime Unit and one Kebba Secka, a former student of the University of The Gambia who was stabbed to death by a Police Officer.
“I have reported to Kairaba police station this morning. Commissioner Pateh Bah said my bail is now extended to tomorrow so I should report back tomorrow at 10am. I asked why is that and he said it’s a “directive” and he won’t say from who and why. The fight for human rights and democracy continues,’’ Madi said on his Facebook timeline on 1st July.