Magazine article New Internationalist

Good Reasons to Run

Magazine article New Internationalist

Good Reasons to Run

Article excerpt

Among the masses of war-weary Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, a steady trickle of migrants from the tiny West African country of Gambia continues to arrive in Europe. Gambia is not at war, but its economy is plummeting and it is the site of some of the continent's most severe human rights abuses.

President Yahya Jammeh periodically grabs global headlines, thanks to his bizarre claims to be able to cure HI V, Ebola and infertility. But his government rarely gets press attention for its grim human rights record.

Since taking power over two decades ago, Jammeh's government has brutally suppressed dissent, silenced virtually all independent media, and cracked down on journalists, opposition members, activists and anyone who dares to make critical remarks. After a December 2014 coup attempt, the situation deteriorated further.

In a report released in September, Human R ights Watch documented numerous abuses perpetrated by Gambia's security forces, intelligence agents and a shadowy paramilitary group called the Jungulurs that appears to act on behalf of the government. …

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