We are no more in slave trade

Friday, March 08, 2019

Hundreds of Gambians protesters who identified themselves as ‘Concern Citizens’ are calling on European police to stop maltreating and handcuffing their brothers and sisters as they are kept in deportation camps. They said: “We are no more in slave trade.”

“The latest group of 20 deportees that arrived at the Banjul International Airport on Monday, 25 February, 2019 were handcuffed and have their legs shackled from Germany to Gambia. This is totally wrong and is against human rights,” said Omar Saibo Camara, secretary to the organisation, who joined the anti-deportation protest on Thursday.

Camara was speaking at the Youth Monument at Westfield during the: #No to deportation protest organised by the said group. The angry youths including some deportees, their families and activists were chanting with placards inscription:  “#Say No to Deportation, Gambia Government Say No to Deportations, #E.U., U.S. Don’t Deport Our People With Handcuffs and Shackles, Rise Against Deportation.”

The angry youths, especially the deportees demanded for a need to march to State House and the headquarters of The Gambia Immigration Department. However, the organisers of the protest paid no attention to that, insisting they would confine themselves within the ambits of an allocated area.

“We demand that the European police stop such heartless, wicked and racist act now. We call on The Gambia government to address the harassment and rights violation meted out on our people during the process of deportation. This is very shameful and is undone. We are no longer in the time of slave trade and we will not tolerate such anymore.”

Camara called on President Barrow and his government to engage Europeans especially Germany and Italy, regarding the plight and welfare of Gambians. “Despite the international guidelines set aside on the issue of deportation, Gambia can engage the Europeans to re-prioritise or stop deportation.”

The government, he added, needs to remember that the remittances from the Diaspora are estimated to represent about 20% of The Gambia’s gross domestic product and migrants form an integral part of this sector.

Mr. Camara claimed that since December last year, over 30 Gambians have been deported and the German Interior minister has also assured that he would speed up mass deportation every month from now until the 2, 500 identified Gambian refugees are deported.

“We expect The Gambia government to communicate effectively and professionally on issues of national concern such as the current trend of deportation but not to use a propagandist,” he stated, while accusing government spokesperson whom he said, discriminated and castigated Gambians in the Diaspora especially migrants and refugees.

Author: Momodou Jawo