It has come to the notice of the Gambia Alliance for National Unity (GANU) that the police high command acted on orders of the Gambia Government based on the Covid- 19 restrictions, to deny issuing permit to a group of young people who are referred to as Concerned Gambians, for their planned peaceful protest against deportation.
The said group had since January applied for a permit to hold a peaceful protest against the deportation denied permit on the basis of the Covid-19 restrictions. The said group is reportedly working in collaboration with the Gambia Refugees Association-Europe Branch. These two groups had earlier in March 2019, successfully organised a peaceful demonstration at Westfield which prompted the Gambia government to announce a moratorium on deportation until last year, when it was lifted.
However, the police action to deny these groups a permit to hold another peaceful demonstration is unfair and unacceptable. The reason that the police gave is not good enough to stop this group from exercising their fundamental rights and freedom. The Covid-19 restrictions are being openly violated by the government, political parties, and other groups, etc but nobody is talking about it. This is pure marginalisation of the two groups and it is undone.
Therefore, GANU condemns the police action towards the Concerned Gambians group and calls on the police high command to rectify their mistake.
This year, Gambians have seen some people being deported from Germany and therefore, the Concerned Gambians have a right to protest against deportation before a lot of our people in the Diaspora (Gambian migrants) will be sent home. Our people in the diaspora need to be supported and encouraged to build their capacities so that they can make a great difference or contribute effectively towards the socio-economic development of The Gambia, in the near future.
The Gambia Government is not yet ready to take back or receive its citizens from other countries and apparently, the government has no plans for the returnees. The government’s failure to take good care of the deported youths has resulted in some returnees getting more frustrated and hopeless coupled with the discrimination they face in their communities.
GANU is therefore urging the Government to take care of its deported citizens by providing them with good re-integration packages, engage them into projects where they can deliver and make a good and decent living, etc. Our party is calling on the Gambia government to re-engage the European Union (EU) to minimize or stop the deportation of Gambians until such a time that we are fully ready as a nation to receive our citizens”.