Showing posts from November, 2021

Article 19 throws its weight on Access to Information ahead of Presidential elections

             Article 19 calls government, others to provide ATI ahead of elections            By Sheriff Saidykhan ARTICLE 19 in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights (Pretoria) and The Gambia Press Union (GPU) has on Tuesday 30th November 2021 called on the government and politicians to provide proactive disclosure of Access to Information (ATI) ahead of the Presidential election.  The daylong zoom event was anchored on “Enhancing Access to Information during elections in The Gambia” The event held at the Human Rights office in Brusubi, brought together Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s), human rights actors and media practitioners to mitigate strategies for the effective implementation of Access to Information Act.   The objective of the event was to raise awareness on the right of access to information in The Gambia. Bintou Jaiteh, from Article 19 spoke of the importance of Access to Information, in the drive towards engaging citizens’ participation in decision making proc

Ousainou Darboe explains the struggles of UDP ahead of Presidential election

Lawyer Darboe reminds Kombo North of UDP struggles, calls for change  By Sheriff Saidykhan Ousainou ANM Darboe, the Presidential candidate for the United Democratic Party (UDP) has reminded Gambians of the struggles fought by the party during the repressive rule of former president Yahya Jammeh. Lawyer Darboe described the struggles of the late martyrs of the party saying they fought to liberate the country from the brutal rule of former president Yahya Jammeh.   He made these remarks on Saturday 27 November 2021 at the “ALL KOMBO RALLY” held at Brikama, West Coast Region.   “Many of our members were captured here in Brikama. They tortured them and violated their right for no crime, only because they are supporting UDP” he decried. The veteran human rights lawyer jogged the minds of thousands of supporters during the bitter struggles of the party. He called on supporters of the party to come out in full swing and vote for UDP.                     

Halifa Sallah calls for unity ahead of presidential election

Honourable Halifa Sallah Halifa Sallah says Gambians should unite to vote for change   By Amadou Manjang   Halifa Sallah, the presidential candidate for People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), has said that Gambians should unite and vote for change, adding that change cannot happen without unity.   “Gambians have to unite before we can bring change,” he said.   He further said that no one has a vote based on tribe, arguing that every Gambian has an equal vote by virtue of being a Gambian.    “We shall invite and know that we are all equal with one vote” he remarked.   Sallah made these remarks on Friday 26 November 2021 in Bwaim, Foni. Hon. Sallah,  is on the campaign trail ahead of the 4th December presidential elections.   The seasoned politician observed that, the country is still faced with the same problems and issues since independence.   He blamed the previous regimes for their lack of visionary foresight, and failure to register development

COLUMN | The CPD Debate, the ‘Absentee Four’ and How the Leaders Who Rose to The Challenge Fared

      From Left: Honourable Sallah and Essa Faal |  The Robust Fiery Political Exchange Which Simmered Down on a Cool Friendly Closing Note  |    By Pa Louis Sambou   T here is little doubt that the collapse of the former regime’s  vote in 2016 and the subsequent rupture of what was the coalition, precipitated a shift in the techtonic plates of The Gambia’s political landscape in ways never seen before. By all accounts, such state of affairs makes it much more difficult to say with any respectable degree of certainty, how the marbles will land come election day. Naturally, one would expect such uncertainty to generate a spirit of collaboration among opposition parties and candidates, something which has been and perhaps still is a mainstream view within certain quarters. However, as 4 th December draws closer, this logic is increasingly melting out into a myth, albeit still too blissful to let go of by some. In reality, not only is there reluctance for any collaboration among the oppos

GPU empowers journalists' on hate speech ahead of presidential election

GPU-UNOWAS Kick-off training on hate speech for journalists' By Alimatou S Bajinka The Gambia Press Union (GPU) in partnership with the United Nation of West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), and National Democratic Instutute (NDI) converged six days training on “hate speech”.  The training, is divided into three batches slated from Tuesday 23-28  November 2021, held at Sunset Beach Hotel in Kotu. The training, is aimed at building the capacity of journalists' on how to appropriately tackle hate speeches especially during elections. Mr. Emmanuel D. Joof, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) underscored the importance of the training, adding that hate speeches are rampant on social media platforms, intended primarily to incite violence.  “I emphasis that this training is important, necessary, and timely, if you today scan the social media, the amount of hate speech, unsavoury and bigoted statements, and misinformation that is transmitted is boundless and m

OPINION | Former GNA Lieutenant Binneh Minteh Shares His Opinion on Essa Faal

“Be Careful Gambia” Writes Minteh By Dr. Binneh Minteh   Memorializing November 11th, 1994 Extra-judical Executions In The Gambia ( Part II): Essa Mbye Faal Prosecuted Alleged November 11th Suspects.    It is often said that "the criminal is often enough not equal to his deed: he extenuates and maligns it". Mr. ESSA MBAI FAAL is the typical extenuating Criminal taking Gambians for granted. Essa Faal's attempt to minimize his role in entrenching Dictatorship and aiding in the abysmal destruction of livelihood is evident of his disrespect and selective treatment of witnesses allegedly involved in the November 11th, 1994 tragic events in the Gambia.    Hypocritically, he allocated one suspect with a plot of land as a showcase or exploitative ploy and denied other witnesses he prosecuted to appear before him at the TRCC hearings. He falsely perverted the concepts of "victim" and "perpetrator" to consolidate his preconceived notions about violations of law

PRESS RELEASE | Arbitrary Arrest and Unlawful Detention of One Nenneh Freda Gomez and Lamin Sey

Mr Emmanuel Joof, NHRC Chairman The National Human Rights Commission has learned with grave concern the arbitrary arrest and the unlawful detention of one Nenneh Freda Gomez and Lamin Sey by officers of the Gambia Police Force. According to reports and information gathered by the NHRC, Nenneh Freda Gomez, the Country Representative of Global Hearts of Medical Mission  (GLOBAL HOMM) and a staff of the same Mission, Lamin Sey, were initially arrested and charged with 2 counts of malicious injury to property and criminal trespass by the Inspector General of Police. They were subsequently granted bail but the charges against them never proceeded before the courts. As a result, Ms Gomez filed a case before the High Court challenging the legality of her arrest. The High Court ruled on Wednesday 17th November 2021 and declared that their arrest and detention was unlawful and contrary to Section 19 of the 1997 Constitution. Taking note of the High Court judgments in the matter, The Government

Human Rights Advocates and Victims of Jammeh Want Prosecutions Expedited

“Accountability Is Non-Negotiable, Inevitable”-  Sirra Ndow   By Amadou Manjang Sirra Ndow, the Country Coordinator of African Network against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances (ANEKED) has said that accountability is inevitable for the people who bear the highest responsibility of human rights violations that occurred in the past regime. She added that the forgiveness by victims should not deter the prosecution of perpetrators by the state, adding that the state has a responsibility to ensure that the victims get justice.  She further stated that securing justice is another step for the victims.  The human rights defender who is also a victim of human rights violations under Jammeh's regime made these remarks at the international conference held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre in Bijilo.  Ayeshah Jammeh, the program officer of Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Right Violations said the prevalence of justice must be delivered.   Mrs. Jammeh recou

Gambian Media Tightens its Tentacles Ahead of Presidential Elections

  DCAF Successfully Concludes Training on Election Reporting for Thirty Gambian Journalists   By Sheriff Saidykhan   The Geneva Centre for Security Governance (DCAF) in partnership with Gambia Press Union (GPU), through the support of the European Union (EU), on Friday 19 November 2021 completed a five days intensive training for thirty Gambia media practitioners across different media outlets. The training was held at National Nutrition Agency (NANA), along the Bertil Harding Highway.   The training dubbed: ‘The Role of Media in Monitoring and Objective Reporting on Election and Security’ among other things, gave journalists the opportunity to interact, share experiences and better understand the safety and security considerations associated with in elections reporting.     Ken Isaac, Head of DCAF office in Banjul spoke of their determination to continue to support capacity building of Gambian journalists and media practitioners.   Muhammad S. Bah, President-elect of Gambia Press Unio

OPINION | Paradigm Shift in The Presidential Voting Criteria

By Philip Saine T he Gambia Electoral Cycle has reached a climax for the 2021 Presidential Elections. A total number of 962, 157 voters have been registered and citizens are presented with 6 Presidential Candidates namely: Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh, Abubacarr Ousainou Darboe, Adama Barrow, Essa Mbye Faal, Halifa Sallah, and Mama Kandeh, There would be 1554 Polling Stations and political campaigning is now intense. It was Prof. Lumumba, a reputable African Political Analysts, who opined that elections in Africa are more of a national census, the most populous tribe wins (demographic population distribution is the singular determinant factor). The implication of this statement is that Africans voting criteria is based on tribe or other sectarian motivations. As Gambians there is need to listen to the words of wisdom as admonished by Matthew Jallow, a distinguished Gambian political commentator. ‘Everyone should put their presidential aspirations in the back burner for the purpose of putting

ICC Net Closes In On Former President Jammeh

    ICC Advisor says: Jammeh Must Be Prosecuted, “Impunity is not an option”   By Amadou Manjang    The special adviser to the International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor, Adama Dieng, has said that The Gambia needs to prosecute the crimes that were committed under Yahya Jammeh’s brutal rule.     He added that if The Gambia fails to prosecute the crimes, then the International Criminal Court under international jurisprudence will take the matter and investigate.   “Justice must happen and justice will happen. Impunity is not an option,” he firmly stated.   Dieng believes that there should be no circumstances where the crimes should be left unpunished.    Dieng made these remarks on Wednesday 17 November 2021 at the International Conference held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Conference centre.     The International Conference was organised by the Advocate for Justice and Human Rights, Justice Truth Dignity, Gambia Bar Association and IHRDA on the theme ‘from Truth to Justice- the Impleme

OPINION | D.A Jawo Shares Pertinent Observations on Presidential Elections 2021

By D. A. Jawo A s we approach the last lap of the campaign for the   December 4 th  presidential elections, it may not be out of place to make a few observations regarding the entire process; from the nominations to the official campaign period. Of course, unlike what used to happen during the Babili Mansa regime, and even during the first republic, there has been some noticeable democratic transformation in this country. However, the credit for that transformation goes to the ordinary Gambians instead of President Adama Barrow, as he and some of his supporters would claim. Indeed, the democratic dispensation that we all had yearned for could only go as far because it can only succeed if it has the proper legal and legislative instruments to back it. Unfortunately, however, the transition government of President Barrow did not show enough commitment to carry out the necessary reforms to give it the flesh that it needed to triumph. We have seen, for instance, how the Draft 2020 Constitu