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Jailed human rights defender released and deported

(MFWA/IFEX) - Edwin Nebolisa Kwakaeme, a Gambia-based Nigerian human rights defender, who was jailed for supposedly giving "false information" to the office of President Yahya Jammeh in 2010, was released and deported to his native Nigeria on 14 January 2011.

On 6 September 2010, the Banjul Magistrate's Court sentenced Kwakaeme, the programme director of Africa in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG), a human rights NGO, to a mandatory six-month prison term with hard labour and indefinitely suspended his organisation. He was ordered to surrender all documents of the organisation in his possession to the court and pay a fine of 10,000 dalasis (about US$330).

Before the sentence, the activist had been on remand for seven months. He had spent one and a half weeks in custody.

Kwakaeme, publisher of the privately-owned quarterly "Window" magazine which reports on human rights violations in the Gambia, was arrested on 8 March 2010 after writing to the office of President Jammeh requesting that he make his daughter a goodwill ambassador to the ADG.

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