Fatou Jaw Manneh

Gambian journalist and former political prisoner of the dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh.

Fatou Jaw Manneh is a journalist and commentator from the Gambia. She fled the country after the 1994 coup d’état where current dictator Yahya Jammeh seized power. Manneh obtained political asylum in the U.S. and continued to publish articles exposing the tyranny of Jammeh’s regime. In 2007, on a visit to the Gambia to pay her respects to her late father, Manneh was arrested and charged with three counts of sedition for articles published in newspapers shuttered by the government. She was convicted and sentenced to four years of hard labor or a fine of $12,000. Manneh managed to pay the fine and escape to the U.S., where she founded Maafanta.com, a website that focuses on politics, health, and education in the Gambia. She continues to resist Jammeh’s regime by supporting journalists on the ground working to expose his crimes.