NHRC trains DLEAG officers on human rights and related issues

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In its efforts towards nurturing a culture of human rights amongst duty bearers, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recently commenced a three-day capacity strengthening workshop for 30 senior and middle level officers of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency-Gambia (DLEA-G) from Kaur, Wassu, Brikamaba, Bansang and Basse, stations respectively. The training, which is the first for officers of DLEAG is being held in Basse, URR, and aims to enhance the knowledge of participants on the mandate and functions of the DLEAG and NHRC as well as on fundamental human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia and other laws of the country, and in ratified international and regional human rights instruments.
As part of the workshop, participants’ expertise will also be strengthened on the rights of children and women in conflict with the law, how to conduct child-friendly and gender-sensitive interviews and investigations and the duty to respect and protect the rights of suspects from point of arrest to prosecution.
In his official remarks at the opening ceremony, the regional DLEA commander of Basse Commissioner Yankuba Sanneh, acknowledged the importance of the training for the officers. He said the DLEA-G high command has zero tolerance for human rights abuses of suspects and urged the officers to take the training with utmost seriousness. Deputising for the Chairperson of the Commission, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Saikou Kawsu Gassama, dilated on the importance of human rights, especially respecting and protecting the rights and dignity of suspects. “When law enforcers become law breakers, the confidence of the community in law enforcement diminishes”, Dr Gassama told the participants. Mr. Mansour Jobe, the Commission’s Director of Legal and Investigation, who is also the lead trainer, encouraged the participants to actively participate and share their expertise with the rest of the group. Other facilitators of the training include Commissioner Abdoulie Ceesay and Commissioner Mawlud Faal both from DLEA.
NCO3 Kaddy Manneh, a female officer attached to Brikamaba police station expressed delight at being selected to take part in the training, adding that capacity building is essential for law enforcement officers. Another participant Karamo Saidykhan, the officer commanding Human Resources DLEAG emphasized the importance of the training, and said it would enhance their knowledge on the role and mandate of the NHRC as well as equip them on their obligation to respect human rights and the rule of law in their day to day operations.