Barely 24 hours after a Gambian court slapped the top brass of the Jotna movement with three criminal charges and ordered them to be remanded in prison custody, Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) leader, Mai Ahmad Fatty, on Thursday held brief for the detained protesters, calling on authorities to drop their case.
“I call on the Gambia government to withdraw the case against Gambians currently standing trial for the alleged disturbances of last Sunday,” Mr. Fatty told journalists during a news conference held at GMC headquarter located along Kairaba avenue.
Violence erupted on January 26 after the Jotna movement protesters clashed with security forces. More than 100 people, including top officials of the banned group, were rounded up by the police. The eight accused persons had earlier appeared before the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court.
While reiterating that citizens must abide by the law, the former Interior Minister warned that alleged breach of the law must not lead to the executive excesses.
“I condemn violence regardless of who perpetrated it. Violence and lawlessness are twins. They work together. Government should do better than responding to violence with violence,” he said.
Mr. Fatty explained that the Jotna movement led to the establishment of another movement pushing ahead with a five years agenda.
“If you deal with one group in one manner it will be incomplete if you don’t deal with the other in the same manner,” he added, urging the government to treat both organizations equally.
Fatty revealed that he has been wrestling with fundamental questions revolving around the future of the country.
“We must together create a new national agenda for The Gambia. I assure you all that I will listen, and I will act. We will act together. We can succeed only if we tap our greatest resources: the Gambian people, our values, our collective confidence…”