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Monday, May 27, 2024

Letters to the Editor

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Gambia Refugee Association

condemns German police

Dear Editor,

The Gambia Refugees Association Europe Branch wishes to express its utter dismay at the way and manner in which a Gambian refugee (name withheld) was manhandled by the German police in Offenburg last week.

The said victim is seen in a video that was reported in the German media and made viral on social media, where he was wrestled on the ground while he was naked and seriously manhandled. This inhumane action of the police reminds us of the George Floyd case, which happened two years ago in the USA.

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The Gambian refugee is suffering from mental illness and needs psychological support instead of being subjected to maltreatment, harassment, and discrimination as evident in the video.

Therefore, the Gambia Refugees Association condemns the police action on him in the strongest terms and calls on the Gambia Government to react to this inhumane treatment against its citizen.

Additionally, we also call on The Gambia government to ensure that Germany reprimands the concerned police officers who subjected our citizen to such inhumane treatment.

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Kalifa Suwareh

Secretary General

Gambia Refugee Association, Europe Branch

Stop pointing accusing fingers at the IEC

Dear Editor,

The IEC should have known that it cannot in a democracy have the powers to deny the nomination of presidential candidates because they did not have the political support of a certain number of registered voters from certain parts of the country. They should have asked the government to change the electoral laws.

But what about the government and the politicians who are supposed to empower the IEC with the proper legal and democratic tools to oversee elections in The Gambia?

These stupid laws were drafted by lawyers and ratified by a national parliament, how stupid can it get?

Clearly The IEC lacked capacity and competency. And so does the government and the politicians. And the judgement of the high court is neither here nor there.

The high court cannot rule that the IEC was right to deny nomination of some presidential candidates.

But the high court can’t say either that the IEC is wrong to maintain the laws it has been working under from the last election! What was needed to resolve the issue was a bridging of the gap between the law and the democratic political governance standards.

And the high court has the powers to broker that bridging of the gap between the bad electoral law and the standard democratic position!

That’s why I keep saying that those who argue that the law is the law and has to be enforced against common sense and the democratic principles and practices are plainly wrong and misguided.

The high court should not have made a judgment that undermines authority and confidence in the IEC particularly days before the presidential election.

Democracy is a common sense political governance system of different parts of the government working on different things at the same time and all dovetailing together into a democratic policy position compatible with the concept, values and conventions of democratic politics to govern the country.

But Halifa Sallah, Madi Jobarteh and these lawyers from Sierra Leone have poisoned the application of democratic politics in The Gambia.

Even the government is terrified of attempting to change anything without some idiot saying that no, the constitution says that we should follow a bad law and an anti democratic process and procedure to govern the country.

I don’t know where these have their understanding of democratic politics from?

The capacity and competency to lead a government ministry and public institutions requires having the knowhow to lead the institution on democratic standards and intelligent policy ideas.

A senior public servant heading a public institution of authority that has been given a legal working undertaking incompatible with the values and standards of democratic politics should ask the government and the politicians to change the law. And make it clear to the country what’s the problem and what it has done to remedy the situation.

But in the Gambian democracy, when the law says go and kill an innocent person, you are supposed to go and kill an innocent person apparently – then you are no longer a human being – you are an animal. That’s the kind of intolerable democratic dispensation that Halifa, Madi and the lawyers from Sierra Leone advocate. Don’t listen to them!

Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang


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