A Member of the European Parliament wants the European Union to shine spotlight on the appalling human rights situation in the Gambia. Jean Lambert, a representative of the Green Party, made the call ahead of next week’s EU-Africa partnership summit in Brussels.
Lambert’s comments followed a similar by the former Vice President of the European Parliament. David Martin recently rebuked Gambian authorities for continuously violating the rights of their citizens. He called for targeted sanction against President Yahya Jammeh and his immediate circle.
In a statement ahead of the high level meeting between EU and African leaders, the Green Party lawmaker for London, urged EU leaders to ensure that human rights remains a key feature in their negotiations with Gambian government. “I urge EU leaders to ensure human rights is a key feature in negotiations with Gambia at the upcoming summit in April where the next development funding tranche is also sure to be discussed.”
“The EU is a leader in upholding the values of universal human rights and now is a crucial time for Gambia to improve its record in advance of its Universal Periodic Review later this year,” she said.
Last month, Dr. Amadou Janneh and Alieu Badara Ceesay of CCG and CHRG-UK, respectively, briefed Jean Lambert on the human rights situation in the Gambia. She has promised to shed light on the Gambia’s situation at the European Parliament.
“The upcoming EU-Africa Summit April 2-3 marks an important opportunity to discuss areas for cooperation between the two continents. It’s also a chance to shine spotlight on the human rights situation in The Gambia,” Jean Lambert pointed out, stressing that “the poor human rights situation in the Gambia is no secret.” She said this has already been highlighted by Amnesty International, the House of Commons UK Parliament, and the European Parliament.
“It’s concerning to hear reports on increasing restriction on media freedom, continuous reports of torture and disappearances, and the silencing of political opposition, I was specially shock to hear about the case of Dr. Amadou Janneh who was sentenced to life in jail for printing T-Shirt.”
She applauded the EU for “promoting human rights and fundamental freedom across the world. EU is a leader in upholding the values of universal human rights, and now is a crucial time for the Gambia to improve its records in advance of its Universal Periodic Review later this year,” she concluded.