Gambia frees British man jailed for sedition: Foreign Office

11th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A British missionary has been freed from a Gambian prison after being jailed in 2008 for criticising the West African state's president, the Foreign Office in London said Saturday.

David Fulton, 61, and his wife Fiona became the first foreigners to be convicted of sedition charges in the Gambia in December, 2008, after they admitted criticising President Yahya Jammeh in a series of emails.

David Fulton was handed a one-year jail term with hard labour for the remarks about Jammeh. He was later sentenced to three extra years of hard labour after pleading guilty to forging an official licence plate.

"Mr Fulton has been released," said a Foreign Office spokeswoman. She could not confirm exactly when the missionary was freed but said it was likely to have been in the past two days.

She could also not confirm whether he had returned to Britain.

Fiona Fulton was freed in December last year, the BBC reported.

The couple moved to Gambia 13 years ago to work as missionaries. David Fulton worked as a chaplain in the Gambian army while his wife looked after terminally-ill people.

Gambia, a tiny country wedged inside Senegal, has one of the worst human rights records in West Africa.

Jammeh, an outspoken military officer and former wrestler, has ruled the former British colony since seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1994.

The country is a popular tourist destination for Britons who make up nearly half of the some 100,000 tourists that visit the Gambia each year.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article