A Spanish Diplomat has killed a Gambian with his Diplomatic car on Thursday, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The automobile accident occurred on a road located in Lower Nuimi, in the North Bank Region of The Gambia. The death victim has been identified as one Modou Sarr, a native of Kerra Jatta village. Sarr was riding a motorbike, when the Spanish Diplomatic driver ran over him. He died on the spot. The driver was coming from the Senegalese end of the road at the time of accident. The Diplomat works at the Spanish Embassy in Dakar, Senegal
Mr. Sarr’s son Baboucarr Sarr, phoned Freedom Newspaper late Thursday evening to report about the tragic accident, which claimed his Dad’s life. Sarr alleged that the Diplomat was driving at a high speed, when he hits his Dad with his Diplomatic car.
According to Sarr, the Spanish national was first processed by the police in Amadali, a border police post, and later referred to the Barra police station. He says the Officer Commanding the region stationed at the Barra police station said there wasn’t much that the police could have done on the matter because an international convention prohibits the police from arresting a foreign Diplomat.
The Spanish Diplomat was later asked to leave the station, but was instructed to report to the station the following day. Sarr is wondering as to whether there is selective justice in The Gambia. He wants the Spanish Diplomat to be charged and taken to court.
According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961, foreign Diplomats should not be arrested by member states (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Convention_on_Diplomatic_Relations).
Below is the summary of some of the said provisions barring states from arresting diplomats.
- Article 24 establishes that the archives and documents of a diplomatic mission are inviolable. The receiving country shall not seize or open such documents.
- Article 27. The host country must permit and protect free communication between the diplomats of the mission and their home country. A diplomatic bag must never be opened even on suspicion of abuse. A diplomatic courier must never be arrested or detained.
- Article 29. Diplomats must not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. They are immune from civil or criminal prosecution, though the sending country may waive this right under Article 32.
- Article 31.1c Actions not covered by diplomatic immunity: professional activity outside diplomat’s official functions.
- Article 34 speaks about tax exemption of diplomatic agents while Article 36 establishes that diplomatic agents are exempted from custom duties.
- Article 37. The family members of diplomats that are living in the host country enjoy most of the same protections as the diplomats themselves.
The Gambian police haven’t commented on the story yet. The Sarr family are demanding justice in this matter.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
Email: [email protected]