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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

EU’s mass deportations of Gambian immigrants: a violation of human rights

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Dear Editor,

In recent years, the European Union (EU) has intensified its mass deportations of Gambian immigrants residing within its member states, purportedly under the guise of agreements aimed at fostering good practices.

However, the stark realities on the ground paint a picture of flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights and a failure to uphold the principles enshrined in international law.

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Germany, in particular, has been at the forefront of these deportation efforts, with over 1,800 Gambian immigrants forcibly removed from its soil through chartered deportation flights and commercial means. Italy and Sweden have also partaken in similar actions, citing agreements with the Barrow government as justification.

Central to these agreements was the EU’s commitment to providing support for the reception, reintegration, and development of communities of origin for returnees. Yet, the promises of sustainable reintegration have largely gone unfulfilled, leaving deportees stranded without adequate support upon their return to The Gambia.

Furthermore, despite assurances of due diligence and protection for vulnerable groups, numerous deportees have arrived back in The Gambia without proper assessment or consideration for their well-being. Tragically, incidents involving deportees with mental health issues have resulted in violence and even loss of life within Gambian communities, highlighting the grave consequences of the EU’s negligent deportation practices.

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Moreover, reports of inhumane treatment and brutality at the hands of German police during deportation processes, such as the alleged torture of Saikou Kanteh, further underscore the systemic failures and violations of human rights inherent in these operations. It is imperative that the EU acknowledges and rectifies these egregious actions, which not only undermine the principles of human dignity and equality but also perpetuate harm and suffering among vulnerable populations.

As advocates for human rights and champions of global cooperation, the EU must hold itself to the highest standards of accountability and compassion in its treatment of migrants and refugees. The time for meaningful reform and genuine respect for human rights in deportation practices is long overdue. The EU must heed the calls for justice and take immediate action to address the systemic failures that have resulted in the victimisation of Gambian immigrants and their families.

Yahya Sonko


A corrupt government is a killer!

Dear Editor,

The level of corruption in The Gambia government today reminds me of the level of corruption back then in the same Gambia government perpetrated from the highest levels. It was so stinking that we had to remind our people where we stood in the global field of corruption!

It looks like more than a decade later, corruption is even more prevalent and celebrated today as topmost cabinet ministers and senior officials in ministries and parastatals are mentioned in corruption investigation reports by the National Assembly and the auditor general only for the president to promote them or transfer them to another portfolio without any accountability.

That is indeed shameful and dangerous. Corruption is at the heart of human rights violations, poor service delivery, poverty, maternal and infant mortality, poor education and poor healthcare, poor utilities services, unemployment, high cost of living, conflict, deprivation and lack of opportunities for society.

Any society that suffers from these ailments is a society deep in corruption.

The biggest victims of official corruption are the youths, women, the old, persons with disabilities and children. Hence to ignore corruption and then go further to reward its perpetrators is the highest demonstration of corruption itself and complicity in corruption and total disregard of the constitution and the rule of law and above all, disrespect and destruction of the lives of citizens and the nation! Corruption kills. A corrupt government is a killer!

Madi Jobarteh


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