Gambia Participates says it may go to court over denial of permit for anti-corruption demo

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By Omar Bah

Gambia Participates executive director, Marr Nyang, has said his organisation is not ruling out going to court over the IGP’s decision to “unjustifiably” deny them permission to protest at the National Assembly over the failure of the lawmakers to pass the anti-corruption bill.

On 8th February the group applied for a permit to protest at the National Assembly on 14th February in a bid to pressure NAMs to pass the long-anticipated bill.

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But in a letter dated 14th February seen by The Standard, the police informed that the group’s “request is not granted” without advancing a reason.

Reacting to the decision, Nyang said: “We are not that institution that takes anything for granted. I cannot make any promise right now but going to court could be one of our next options. In fact, who rejects a peaceful anti-corruption protest? Do we have to sit and watch the country die of corruption? No surprise, corruption is a love affair and any effort to curtail it, will be undermined by those in love with it. So the Public Order Act really needs to be looked at.”

He claimed the country’s democracy is retrogressing.

“The decision manifested the police’s lack of will to champion the fight against corruption. What is more shocking is that the police will happily give permits to politicians to hold processions. That is a shame. When we applied for the permit, the police invited us and suggested we use other means which we refused. What is more disappointing is that when we notified the National Assembly about the procession, they sent us an email to say that they were not going to issue us a permit as if that is their job,” he queried.