Gambian missionary couple appeal for clemency
A missionary couple have offered a public apology to Gambia’s president in hope of receiving a presidential pardon. David Fulton, 60, and his wife Fiona, 45, were recently convicted of undermining the authority of Gambia’s government.
The Fultons were arrested on 29 November and charged on 4 December for distributing ‘seditious’ reports about the government. The couple – who have lived in Gambia for twelve years – allegedly criticised the former British colony in a series of round-robin e-mails related to their Christian missionary work in the predominantly Muslim state.
On 24 December the Fultons pleaded guilty to the charge of sedition and were sentenced on 30 December to one year of imprisonment with hard labour and a fine of about £6,250.
Gambia, an overwhelmingly Muslim country (90%), has been ruled by President Yahya Jammeh since he came to power through a bloodless military coup in 1994. Every January, the president publishes a list of prisoners he feels should be freed because he believes they have shown remorse, and he is expected to publish a new list shortly.
Westhoughton Pentecostal Church in northwest England, which the Fultons have ties to, has been urging concerned Britons to write letters to the UK Government, church leaders, and local members of parliament to highlight the case.