The Gambia on Tuesday became a hot cake at the second cycle of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland, where the country’s appalling human rights credentials were being questions. The country’s Justice Minister Basirou Mahoney became so pounded with questions, concerns and recommendations by United Nations member countries that he at one point stumbled.
Mr. Mahoney was flanked by Interior Minister Ousman Sonko. Mahoney was spotted several times listening to Mr. Sonko before he answered questions. Sonko himself looked so stunned and kept staring helplessly as representative of 64 countries criticized the Gambia for its gross violations of human rights.
Speaker after speaker – even countries that ordinarily favour the Gambia – hammered the West African nation for the 2012 execution of death row inmates, disappearances, detention without trial and murder of prominent people, including a journalist.
Minister Mahoney had earlier presented a sugar-coated report on the Gambia, saying the country has not only guaranteed the rights of its citizens but also allowed them to seek redress in court when their rights have been violated. In essence, Mahoney described the Gambia as a model of good governance, justice and human rights. He said the country has been conducting free and fair elections, allocating equal airtime to all political contenders and guaranteeing freedom of expression and speech. He said the independent media is free to disseminate information without hindrance.
Mahoney painted a good picture of the Gambia where prisoners have access to quality health care on a regular basis. He also said the country does not condone illegal detention without trial even though hundreds of Gambians, including Mambury Njie, a former Gambian minister, remain in this state of affairs. Mahoney added that his government has protected the rights of prisoners.
Mahoney said families of Gambians who are detained for more than 72 hours file habeas corpus in court demanding their release.
The Mahoney family of Banjul of which Her Excellency the Late Augustus Mahoney-jawara and Louise Antonio Mahoney- Njie belong is a good family. Don’t be a curse to this good and God fearing family, Basirou. I hope you only presented this report by virtue of compulsion rather than free will.
Lafia, Minister Mahoney’s background and his relations’ good character have little or no relevance to what he has wilfully chosen to say or do.
Claim that the Gambia is a “model of good governance, justice and human rights” is as rubbish as gutter garbage.
Although his statement hasn’t yet become widely available in the public domain, from what has been reported, one may conclude that this was what he indeed said. Going by the jumpy nature of his boss, the Professor, and the latter’s allergic to anything Human Right, there is no reason to believe Minister Mahoney could have said something different.
Making such statements in public fora and on international scene in defence of indefensible Jammeh, however ridiculous that may be, is typical of Gambians, sadly. We have seen the Jorbartehs, the Bahs, the Pa Harrys and even our so-called elected MPs… This state of affairs is a clear indicative of lack of principle and conscience in the Gambian public life; and this is shameful. It represents cancer of bad governance and sycophancy that are eating the heart and soul of the Gambia away.
If we think when Jammeh goes all shall be wholesomely well, we are in for a rude and shocking disappointment.
Like Sabally let us pray he doesn’t find out about Gambian’s human right the hard way.
I remember when Sabally said to protestors in NYC I will make sure you are arrested when you set foot in Gambia.
He is currently facing the same in justice that he threatened dissenting fellow citizens.
Hope he doesn’t sit in mile two one day and say dang! this is what my fellow citizens were talking about. Many Sectaries of State like him are in jail right now. The Gambian madness continues.
Kemo-Ba, I am only lost for words. What else can I do other than reminding Basirou of his good family background??
It is really shameful when you hear supposed professionals especially lawyers stand in front of an international body and lie through their teeth. Everyone knows what is happening in the Gambia but time and time again we listen to our lawyers say the most outrageous of statements and judges make reprehensible judgments that one wonders where we are heading to as a nation. How a supposed “religious, God fearing and righteous people” and a country daubed as “peaceful” nation can allow a clown misanthrope, who has no regard for anything and anyone is allowed to use Gambians from all walks of life to do his dirty bidding? Jammeh has made nonsense of every Gambian. We don’t even know who we are today as a nation as our elders, religious leaders, educated class, and all and sundry have been turned into Yahya Jammeh Zombies. He killed, torture and abused our Mama, Papa, Uncles, children; he steals from our national coffers; he defiles all the religions; he peddles drugs and prostitute our womenfolk and yet we call him Professor, Sheikh, Nasurideen, Babalimansa and savior. Gambians we need a psychiatrist to treat us. Something is just not right.
Thank you Mr. Loum for your good comments. I believed that Gambians have a sickness called ” Palas syndrome ” . Most Gambians will cheat, lie, connive, and ignore the suffering of their fellow country for a position. Even if it means having the position for few days or months and end up been fired, humiliated and send to mile 2 prison. What a shame? What happened to people having conscience, principles and respect for family values? Yaya Jammeh will continue to use Gambians as long as he can because he knows that most Gambians have lose their morals and care less about each other. He has used Muslims against Christians, African Traditional Religion against Muslims, Women against Men, Mothers against Daughters, Tribes against each other and Rural against Urban areas just to force himself to rule Gambians.
Basirou Mahoney isn’t the first and he will not be last to be use by Yaya Jammeh. There are some still waiting in the line in case a position come open again. Mr. Mahoney will have his day soon including Aki Bayo, Kalilu Bayo and many others. Please be quiet the movie just started again.