Written by Ebrima Jaiteh
NO PERSON NEEDS A POLICE PERMIT TO DEMONSTRATE PEACEFULLY WITHOUT ARMS.
No person in The Gambia needs a police permit to demonstrate peacefully without arms. Section 25(1)(d) of the 1997 constitution states that every person have the right to freedom to assemble and demonstrate peaceably and without arms. Section 4 of the 1997 states that the 1997 constitution is the supreme Law of The Gambia and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. Section 5 of Public Order Act 1964 requires persons to obtain police permit before before protesting. This provision of the public order act was enacted during the colonial period and is inconsistent with the spirit, principle and supremacy of the 1997 constitution and therefore void and has no legal effect, unenforceable and not binding.
I hope the police will not enforce any unlawful order to arrest persons exercising their fundamental rights. It is illegal, unconstitutional to arrest any person demonstrating peacefully without the use of arms. The Barrow government must not encourage police brutality and impunity. The citizens must rise to the challenge in fight for their civil liberties.