Amnesty Regional Director Alioune Tine has denounced Gambia govt
refusal to comply with ECOWAS court orders, saying that the ‘defiant stance’ is against the country’s regional and international obligations.
“As a member State of both ECOWAS and African Union (AU), Gambia is also a host country for the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACPHR). Therefore, Gambia has obligation to respect the fundamental rights of its own citizens and other nationals living in the country,” he said while addressing participants at a two-day International Civil Society Forum, held in Dakar from June 1-2 and jointly organized by Coalition for Change in The Gambia (CCG) and West Africa Civil Society Organizations Forum (WASCOF).
Amnesty Regional Director said the credibility of these institutions
is at stake as Gambia failed to implement ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and comply with three court orders. “President Yahya Jammeh should not be allowed to thumb nose at ECOWAS Community court ruling,” he voiced out.
He then highlighted the successive rulings of the ECOWAS community
court against Gambia and blasted the authorities for turning a deaf
ear to orders handed down in favour of journalists Musa Saidykhan, a torture survivor; Deyda Hydara, gunned down in 2004 by ‘unknown’ assailants and Chief Ebrima Manneh, who went missing since 2006.
Alioune Tine spared no efforts on expose the Jammeh regime and
revealed the inconsistency of its positions on ECOWAS issues. He
cited the recent complaint filed by Gambia against Senegal regarding
the 3-month long border blockade.
“He (Yahya Jammeh) lost the case as Senegal did not officially close
its border. It was the Senegalese transport union which spearheaded
the move,” he recalled.
As a state party to the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good
Governance, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the
African Charter) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Gambia is obliged to respect, promote, protect and fulfil a range of human rights in the context of elections and
beyond., Amnesty said in a report on Gambia released on June 2.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN