By Sanna Camara
The civil society activist Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, has reacted that even if 200 charges of treason are pressed against him, it will not change anything for him as far as the struggle againt dictatorship in The Gambia is concerned.
His reaction follows reports that the Jammeh regime has today pressed fresh charges of treason against the activist after the recent T-Shirt distribution and launch of a new opposition movement in Senegal.
Even though the fresh charge, accompanied with a bench warrant for Dr. Janneh’s arrest and extradition were released in absentia in the Gambia, analysts are connecting this to his new found zeal as leader of the new coalition of civil society opposition movements committed to bringing change to The Gambia.
It is not the first time he faced an indictment for such work in The Gambia. The Gunjur-born,US-educated activist served a prison sentence on sedition charges after distributing T-Shirts bearing the ”End Dictatorship Now” slogan some years ago.
Legal analysts and advocates have been questioning the definition of the sedition charges under the laws of the Gambia. This law, which until today is being used to crack down on perceived opponents of Jammeh even though it has its basis in 1940s colonial law “meant to protect the reputation British Crown”.
Jammeh government has amended this law, broadened its definition to encompass the simplest acts of free expression or association, with an even more stringent penalties for culprits, said a legal analyst.
When contacted this evening for his reaction to the fresh charges, Dr. Janneh sound surprised at the reports, asking: ”Where was this reported?”
He however maintained that he will react after reading details of the charge, noting that: “Doesn’t change a thing for me… will react after I read details”.