CSAG MEMBERS HIGHLIGHT PRISON CONDITIONS , HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN THE GAMBIA AT THE 25 ANNIVERSARY OF THE ACHPR
Members of the Civil Society Associations Gambia participating in the 25th anniversary and 52nd Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Yammousoukro, Cote D’Ivoire, Tuesday, October 9, 2012 highlighted the conditions of prisoners, human rights abuses and disregard for the rule of law in The Gambia.
Addressing ACHPR Human Rights Commissioners, Coordinator of the Coalition for Change Gambia Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh, had the opportunity to refute earlier claims of Gambian Justice Minister Lamin Jobarteh that The Gambia did not violate human rights of its nationals and or refuse to implement decisions taken against it.
Speaking immediately after the Gambian Minister of Justice, Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh described himself as a living testimony to the blatant disregard for rule of law, human rights violations the Government of The Gambia metes out on its population daily. He told the gathering that he had promised inmates at the notorious Mile Two Central Prisons that he would champion their causes – lack of access to healthcare, mortality rates, abuse, and detention without trial - in addition to other human and constitutional rights that the CCG and its parent organization CSAG espouse.
Other members of the CSAG delegation Ndey Tapha Sosseh of the Coalition for Change The Gambia and Alh Boubacarr Baldeh, United Free and Democratic Gambia also took the opportunity to participate in the NGO Forum preceding the Commission session to network and lobby other civil society and non-governmental organizations in the region to further highlight the flagrant human rights violations in The Gambia with a view to exposing the shameful acts of The Gambia Government and to seek leverage to curb the excessive and high handed tendencies of the Jammeh Regime.
Through CSAG and partners a Resolution (see attached) was passed at the Forum to move the Commission from Banjul in order to strip The Gambia of its title as Human Rights Capital of Africa. This view had the strong backing of other African NGO’s with Observer status at the Commission who re-conveyed the message to Commissioners and State parties at the session on “the Relationship between the ACHPR and Member States”.
The CSAG officials also had occasion to meet on a one to one basis the ACHPR and UN special rapporteurs and Commissioners highlighting specifically the issues of prison conditions, detention, freedom of expression and association, disregard for rule of law. The issue of the executions of the nine (9) death row inmates and possible further executions of the remaining thirty eight (38) were discussed in detail.