Dutchman fined for insulting Gambia's leader

17th April 2009, Comments 1 comment

A Gambian court sentenced a Dutch man with a fine of 50,000 Dalasis (EUR 1,500) or in default to serve one year in prison for sedition, reveals a legal source.

BANJUL – A Dutch national who admitted insulting Gambian President Yahya Jammeh was on Thursday convicted of sedition and fined 50,000 Dalasis (EUR 1,489), according to a prosecution source.

"I hereby sentence you to a fine of 50,000 Dalasis or in default to serve one year in prison," judge Pa Harry Jammeh was quoted as saying in the judgment issued behind closed doors.

According to the prosecution source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Dutch national identified as Rene Beulen is to appear before the court again on 21 April to pay his fine before being deported.

Beulen admitted he had told police officers that "Gambian President Yahya Jammeh increased taxi fares for white people" and that he was "too greedy and corrupt".

Under Gambian law, sedition or the incitement of resistance to lawful authority is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine or both.

In December 2008, a British missionary couple became the first foreigners to be slapped with a jail sentence for sedition in the west African nation.

They were ordered to serve 12 months in prison with hard labour after pleading guilty to criticising the president.

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

Jammeh has ruled the former British colony since seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1994.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • plasticlog posted:

    on 17th April 2009, 19:05:40 - Reply

    You can expect to be banged up in the majority of African and middle eastern countries for being critical of the governments and rulers, either don't go, which is the most sensible thing to do, or keep your mouth shut since you have little or no rights in the majority of those countries.