of National Human Rights Commission, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, has said former
president Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year repressive rule witnessed gross human rights violation.
Mr. Joof was speaking during a daylong symposium organised by Victims’ Center in the memory of April 10 and 11 victims held at The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute in Kanifing yesterday.
He stated that fundamental human rights and freedoms were enshrined in the country’s 1997 Constitution, adding that these rights were flouted with impunity by the executive and its agents.
He further stated that human rights abuses were deeply rooted and rampant and in effect, many Gambians accepted it as the norm in the past.
He revealed that unlawful arrest and disappearance, torture, extra judicial killings, unlawful dismissals, illegal appropriation of people’s properties, usurpation of the independence of the judiciary and the appointments of mercenary judges was the order of the day.
He further revealed that there has been much hope that with the coming of the coalition government, respect for fundamental human rights and adherence to the rule of law will be respected and upheld.
Joof added that The Gambia is still in transition coming from a repressive rule where human rights were habitually flouted to a culture where fundamental human rights and freedoms are to be respected by all.
He further added that they have registered some successes in the areas of freedom, lawful arbitrary arrest, detention, disappearance and extra judicial killings.
Joof lamented that much remains to be done with respect to other fundamental rights and freedoms, noting that policing of public assemblies issues involving environment particularly mining, pollution and land rights.
He further lamented that the country witnessed the tragic incident in Faraba Banta in 2018 and the ongoing land dispute in Berending, Gunjur, Sanyang and others.
According to Joof, the establishment of a permanent National Human Rights Commission for The Gambia has been regarded by many as long overdue and important in spearheading a culture of human rights in the country.