Gambia - Letter From the M'bai Family

Justice Info has received a letter from a family member of Fafa Edrissa M'Bai, a former Minister of Justice under the military junta in Gambia, in response to an article published on May 3. In the interests of transparency and fairness, we are publishing in its entirety this letter, which takes issue with our coverage of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) hearing in which M'Bai was questioned about his role in the early days of former dictator Yahya Jammeh's rule.

The letter is signed by Mammorr Ceesay, a Gambian citizen residing in London, UK. Ceesay said he was speaking on behalf of M'Bai as a "family member and trusted advisor". This letter was written in response to our article "When 'legal junglers' defend their role under military rule", published on May 3, 2021. This article was republished in the Gambian newspaper "The Standard", which also published this letter from Mr. Ceesay.

The article in question can be found here:

We reject the allegations in this letter that our correspondent in The Gambia violated the rules of honesty, balance and good faith in his reporting of the hearing. This article represents a report of a hearing that does not require the journalist to go and interview each of the people involved to confirm the public exchanges before the Truth Commission. Our correspondent has reproduced Mr. M'Bai's arguments and responses to the TRRC legal counsel's questioning. At no time did he violate the rules of balance and fairness, nor did he serve any plot against anyone. We strongly reject the allegation that this article is "promoting hate" or "inflammatory" in nature.

The questions raised about M'Bai's role in the early months of Yahya Jammeh's military regime are the result of investigations and a decision by the Truth Commission. They are a matter of public record. The Justice Info article simply reflects the highlights, key facts and documents discussed at the hearing. In the interests of transparency and fairness, we reproduce here the entire letter as it was sent to us.


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