Rev. Jesse Jackson secures release of American prisoners in Gambia

Rev Jesse Jackson attends a candlelight vigil at the childhood home of Michael Jackson on August 29, 2012 in Gary, Indiana. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Rev Jesse Jackson attends a candlelight vigil at the childhood home of Michael Jackson on August 29, 2012 in Gary, Indiana. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Rev. Jesse Jackson added to his long list of diplomatic accomplishments this week by securing the release of two Americans who had been imprisoned in Gambia for decades. In the 1980s, Jackson was able to negotiate the release of American prisoners from Syria and Cuba. The Chicago Sun-Times has more:

Chicago’s the Rev. Jesse Jackson added another notch Monday to his successes in international diplomacy — obtaining the release of two Americans who were expected to be imprisoned in Gambia for at least 20 years.

“This is a great day,” Edward Alford, U.S. ambassador to The Gambia for only two months, said by phone, minutes after an agreement was reached.

“Rev. Jackson has come here as a concerned American citizen, a humanitarian, and has talked to his excellency, President [Yahya] Jammeh, and President Jammeh has agreed to release the two prisoners. This was a marvelous performance.”

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