As Gambia’s Crisis Grows, Refugees Face Struggle for Asylum in Senegal

Published January 19, 2017
By Sanna Camara
Source: Refugees Deeply

IN AUGUST 2014, I crossed the Gambian border into SenegaI. I was fleeing persecution by my government and possible imprisonment over a story I had written two months earlier, about a human trafficking case involving locals. I have now been on the run for more than two years. I am stranded in Senegal, where I have been trying to get refugee status to no avail.

My country has been ruled by an iron-fisted dictator since 1994, when he overthrew a military government. In the face of Yahya Jammeh’s absolute opposition to dissent, more than 100 Gambian journalists have been forced into exile simply for doing their work. Their voices were stifled because they questioned the government over its performance. I remained as long as I could, continuing to work as an independent journalist. My arrest in 2014 was the third time I’d been arrested since 2001. This time, I was “advised” to leave the country.

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