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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Release on the Human Rights Situation in The Gambia


14 October 2009 Dakar, Senegal: The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights,  meeting at its 7th Extraordinary Session held from 5 - 11 October, 2009 in Dakar, Senegal deliberated on the deteriorating  human rights situation in The Gambia, among various other Agenda items.

The human rights situation in the Republic of The Gambia has attracted the attention of the African Commission in particular, arising from the alleged statement made by HE President Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A JJ Jammeh on 21 September 2009 during a public national television address, wherein HE the President is alleged to have threatened to kill human  rights defenders and their supporters. 

The African Commission has written to the Government of the Republic of The Gambia with a view to securing guarantee for the safety of human rights defenders, and is yet to receive a response. 

The African Commission, meeting at its 7th Extraordinary Session adopted Resolution AGHPRI/Res 146 (Ext.OSA/ll)09 on the Deteriorating Human Rights Situationi n the Republic of The Gambia, which:

  1. CALLS on the African Union to intervene with immediate effect to ensure that H .E. President Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J.J ammeh  withdraws the threats made in his statement;
  2. CALLS on the African Union to ensure that the Republic of The Gambia guarantees the safetyy and security of the members and staff of the African Commission, human rights defenders, including journalists in The Gambia, and all participants in the activities of the African Commission taking place in The Gambia;
  3. REQUESTS the African Union to authorize and provide extrabudgetary  resources to the African Commission to ensure  that the 46th Ordinary Session is convened and held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, or any other Member  State of the African Union, in the  event that His Excellency the President of The Republic of The Gambia does not withdraw his threats and the Government cannot guarantee the safety and security of the members and staff of the African Commission and the participants to the 46th Ordinary Session;
  4. REQUESTS the African Union to consider relocating the Secretariat of the African Commission in the event that the human rights situation in the Republic of The Gambia does not improve; and
  5. URGES the Government  of the Republic of The Gambia to implement the recommendations of its previous Resolutions in, particular, Resolution No. ACHPR/Res. 134(XXXXIV)2008, adopted during the 44th Ordinary  Session heldi n Abuja, Nigeria, from 10 to 24 November 2008, and to investigate the disappearance and/or killing  of prominent journalists Deyda Hydara and Ebrima Chief Manneh.


signed

Commissioner BahameTom Mukirya Nyanduga
Acting Chairperson of the ACHPR