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City of Banjul
Saturday, October 31, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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Government should legislate against torture

Dear editor,

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I propose the government should enact a law prohibiting torture: Torture is a moral affront to the conscience of every Gambian and a total violation of every Gambian Constitutional ethos. It is horrifying to note that several people died in custody, in the Gambia. Hundreds of our fellow citizens! And Gambians have remained oblivious. The horrific story about the custodial death of a student at Brikama, Ebrima Barry, Transports Union leader Lamin Dibba, and Pro-democracy activist Solo Sandeng and many more deaths because of police brutality in custody are another reminder of our duty to act against torture.

A bill urging the Govt to set out an immediate timeline to urgently facilitate passage of legislation prohibiting torture; a law against torture should enable Gambian citizens to access justice in a swift and efficient manner. In 2017 the Gambia ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

The Gambia’s decision to ratify UNCAT was one of the key pledges President Barrow made in 2017 while attending the 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Gambia becomes the 165th State party to the Convention. The Gambia also ratified the related instrument, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The Gambia’s ratification of the United Nation Convention Against Torture is a strong expression of President Adama Barrow’s Government’s commitment to promote and protect human rights.

Alagi Yorro Jallow

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