Offenburg Incident: Gambia Refugees Association Frowns at German Police, Calls on Gambia Gov’t to React


By: Bakary Ceesay, in Germany

The Gambia Refugees Association Europe Branch has issued a statement expressing its ‘utter’ dismay at the way and manner a Gambian refugee was manhandled by German police in Offenburg last week.

A statement signed by the secretary general of the Gambia Refugees Association Europe Branch Kalifa Suwareh said: “The said victim was seen in a video that was reported in the German media and made viral on social media, where he was wrestled on the ground while he was naked and seriously manhandled. This inhumane action of the police reminds us of the George Floyd case, which happened two years ago in the USA.

“The Gambian refugee is suffering from mental illness and needs psychological support instead of being subjected to maltreatment, harassment, and discrimination as evident in the video.

“The Gambia Refugees Association condemns the police action on him in the strongest terms and calls on the Gambia Government to react to this inhumane treatment against its citizen.

“Additionally, we also call on the Gambia government to ensure that Germany reprimands the concerned police officers who subjected our citizen to such inhumane treatment.”

Meanwhile, the public prosecutor’s office in Baden-Württemberg has issued a statement, promising a probe in the case.

In a statement it said: “whether the actions of the officers in the context of the arrest constitute an initial suspicion of a criminal offence. it must be clarified in advance whether the arrested man had been injured or physically impaired by the actions of the officers. It will then have to be examined whether the acts are covered by the right of arrest.”

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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