Threats and attacks on Human Rights Defenders in Gambia

EAST AND HORN OF AFRICA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS NETWORK

Geneva: Act to end threats and attacks on HRDs in Gambia

The East and Horn of African Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) is particularly
concerned by ongoing attacks against human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Gambia. As the statement by the West African Human Rights Defenders Network, reveals the situation has significantly deteriorated over the course of the last year.

EHAHRDP would therefore like to encourage its members and partners to react to current
threats against Gambian HRDs, most particularly journalists, by:

  • Calling on African Union leaders to condemn the comments made by the Gambian President Col. AJJ Jammeh and to call for an immediate end to the harassment, assaults, prosecution of HRDs notably in light of the Gambian government’s responsibilities under Article 9 of the African Charter of Human Rights that  guarantees freedom of expression;
  • Encouraging the delegates of the 12th Session of the UN Human Rights Council and the Council President H.E Van Meeuwen to condemn the attacks by Gambian President on HRDs and to take necessary measures notably calling on the Gambian authorities to extend a standing invitation to both the UN Special Rapporteur on HRDs and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression;
  • Calling on relevant stakeholders to offer support- legal, political and financial – to defenders in Gambia in order to enable them to pursue their vital work.

MORE NEWS:

Human Rights Defender of the Month: Anny Kapenga

As a young student, Anny Kapenga used to cringe at the cult-like worship of Mobutu Sese Seko, the then Zaire’s President. By then, in the early 1990s, Zaire was still under one party rule, and calls were increasing for Mobutu to open political space to allow other parties to operate. In the meantime, however, all Zairians were expected to show affection for Mobutu wherever they gathered in public.

Students across Zaire’s schools were required to sing and dance adoringly before his (Mobutu)’s portrait every morning before they went to class, and all school scholastic materials were emblemed with his portrait. A young Anny never really appreciated the obsession:

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