Gambian security agents visit family of activist
The family of a leading environmentalist Omar A.J. Saho, was yesterday allegedly intimidated by members of the Gambia Police Force posted at Gunjur Police Station. His house was ransacked as they searched his compound without a police warrant. It is clear what the plain clothed officers were looking for, or what led to the visit.
The incident came less than a week after three environmental activists were shot dead while protesting over environmental destruction in their community. Although based in the United States, Omar Saho has been a strong advocate against environmental destruction in his native Gunjur and beyond .
Speaking to Gunjur News Online, he explained:
“Earlier this morning, four undercover police officers from Gunjur Police Station visited and searched my family compound. The people they met at the compound were my mother and my siblings. The family asked the officers about the mission of their visit, but no explanation was given neither did they show a search warrant to my family. My family visited the local police station to inquire about their visit, but the officers they met on duty said the operation was performed by those on the morning shift, and is not recorded at the station”.
He added: “Advocacy for environmental protection has recently been a challenging career in The Gambia where environmental activists are killed, harassed, intimated, and prosecuted.
While the nation continues to grieve, and process the death of environmental victims of Faraba Bantang and Gunjur Environmental Activists who are undergoing court proceedings, it’s worth keeping in mind that the family of other environmentalists are being intimidated and harassed by the local security forces in the country”
Sometime last year, Omar’s family was intimidated and harassed by officials of the Chinese Fishmeal Company in Gunjur, and the matter was reported to Gunjur Police Station who did not press any charges.
In a related incident, former Information Minister and human rights activist Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh also reported having his offices visited, but was quick to reiterate his resolve to go back to The Gambia despite threat of charges against him.
Source: Gunjur Online
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