An activist, who has vowed to sue the Gambia’s government and challenge the country’s public order ordinance in its constitutional court has come under a drive of intimidation.
Alieu Bah, the leader of the #OccupyWestfield movement that seeks to attract the attention of Gambia’s new leaders to the country’s energy woes is receiving threats to his life, he said.
Bah in several written messages said he has come under aggressive pressures and threats of murder since his emerged as the face of the movement that pro-government supporters swore to counter.
Most of the threats made to Bah and some supporters of his movement were on Facebook, where user warned them to “be afraid of your own shadow; you will die when you go out there, death to the enemies,” and are now labeling them as foreign dissidents.
The #OccupyWestfield protesters were denied a police permit to hold the protest a monument adjacent to the corporate head office of the state-owned National Water & Electricity Company.
Gambian authorities say they did not have the manpower to provide security on the day of the protest but after protest leaders vowed to press ahead, riot police were deployed to the protest venue and other strategic places outside Banjul.
Minister of Homeland Security, Mai Ahmad Fatty, Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang and National Security Advisor Momodou Badjie met with the protest organizers, who agreed to postpone the protest while talks continue.
The country has witnessed a disturbing trend of threats in recent months towards government critics, a drift that has left many human rights watchers and security specialists concerned violations and stability.