Out to overthrow the government of Gambia?
“I don’t know of anything they have done that could be called sedition. Their whole focus has been teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ,” remarked a family friend. But that’s just it: proselytizing Muslims does, in fact, amount to sedition, that is, creating fitna, “civil strife,” in Dar al-Islam.
“British missionary couple in Muslim African country face months in jail ‘hell hole’ after being charged with sedition,” by Steven Henry for the Daily Mail, December 5 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A British missionary couple face up to two years in an African hell hole jail after being charged with sedition in The Gambia.
David and Fiona Fulton were arrested last Saturday in the West African Muslim country, and have been separated and held in custody, according to sources.
The couple have been jailed over claims they had been speaking out against the government of president Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled Africa’s smallest country with an iron fist for 14 years.
Mr Fulton, 60, who is originally from Troon, Ayrshire, was being held in the country’s notorious Mile II prison – a high security jail outside the capital Banjul, described as a tough former colonial jail built during the days of the British Empire.
His wife Fiona, 46, was is understood to be in police custody with the couple’s adopted two-year-old daughter Elizabeth.
She has been treated well by police officers who have run errands to buy nappies – but there were growing fears for her husband’s safety.
A friend, who did not want to be named said: ‘Fiona has been treated well. We are not sure about David. We don’t think he’s fared quite as well. He’s not eating.’
The couple are being held until they are able to raise bail of Â£125,000 and meet other conditions.[…]
“Bail”…or in Islamic parlance, Jizya.
Mr Fulton is chaplain to the Gambian army and carries the rank of major, while his wife looks after terminally ill people and visits women in their homes and in hospital.[…]
As well as ministering for the army, Mr Fulton also has a ministry on the river, which involves reaching immigration outposts and villages only accessible by boat.
The Westhoughton Pentecostal Church website states: ‘This is a major challenge, as it involves a 10-day trip up river every month.
‘But by God’s grace he sees many won for the Lord from Islam and animism.’
Hence the charge of “sedition” — encouraging Muslims to apostatize, a crime punishable by death
The Gambia, one of Africa’s smallest countries, is predominantly Muslim but has a significant Christian community, and indigenous beliefs are also practised.
A report in the International Herald Tribune said the Fultons were paraded on state television on Wednesday and charged in court in the capital, Banjul, yesterday.
The prosecution reportedly accused the couple of writing letters to individuals and organisations to ‘bring into hatred or contempt, to excite disaffection against the President of the Republic and the government of The Gambia’.
The newspaper said the couple pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned until December 16.
President Jammeh, who believes he has herbal treatments that can cure AIDS, has tolerated little dissent since he seized power in a 1994 military coup.
Since taking over as a young army lieutenant he has won three widely criticised multi-party elections.
A concerned friend of the couple added: ‘While we are free to speak out, in Gambia you cannot.
‘As a chaplain part of David’s job is to provide comfort to all sorts of people, people high up and people low down – and people who have perhaps fallen out of favour.
‘I don’t know of anything they have done that could be called sedition. Their whole focus has been teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.’
Pastor Martin Speed, of Westhoughton Pentecostal Church in Bolton, Greater Manchester, said the couple had visited Christians at his church to talk about their work.
‘The work he is doing is not political,’ Pastor Speed said.
‘He’s sharing his Christian faith with people. There does seem to be a growing difficulty of Christians in the country of Gambia. We are really concerned about the situation.’