Jailed U.K. Missionaries Seek Presidential Pardon in Gambia
The Missionaries were arrested and sentenced for one year imprisonment for allegedly committing crime of sedition against the government of the Gambia . However, according to the statements of their friends, the missionaries were spreading the good news among non-Christians in the Gambia .
By Eric Young
12/05/2008 Gambia (The Christian Post)-A missionary couple that was sentenced to one year of hard labor for undermining the authority of Gambia ’s government offered a public apology Sunday and asked for a presidential pardon.
The Fultons were arrested on Nov. 29 and charged on Dec. 4 for distributing “seditious” reports about the government. The couple – which has been living in Gambia for 12 years – allegedly criticized the former British colony in a series of round-robin e-mails related to their Christian missionary work in the predominantly Muslim state.
Gambia , an overwhelmingly Muslim country (90 percent), has been ruled under Jammeh’s iron fist since he came to power through a bloodless military coup in 1994.
Jammeh is known to not tolerate dissent, and opposition activists receive death threats and are regularly arrested, beaten and jailed without charge, according to rights groups. He is also known for his eccentric personality and in recent years claimed to possess a secret herbal cure for AIDS.
Westhoughton Pentecostal Church in northwest England , which the Fultons have ties with, has been urging concerned Britons to write letters to the U.K. government, church leaders, and local members of parliament to highlight their case.
“We are shocked and saddened by the severity of the sentence and are doing whatever we can to seek their release,” the church expressed on their website.