#Article (Archive)

Centre for Legal Support provides pro bono legal aid to inmates

Jan 8, 2020, 12:54 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Centre for Legal Support, a network of public interest lawyers’ civil society organisation that was established in 2018 as a non-government legal entity to provide pro bono legal services to the public, last Saturday offered pro bono legal assistance to inmates at the Mile II Central Prison and Jeshwang Wing.

Speaking at the Mile II Central prison, chairman Sheriff Kumba Jobe said they understand and feel the plights and difficulties inmates are facing; and with the advent of the new political dispensation, they are committed to contribute their quota in responding to their legal needs.

A legal practitioner, Mr Jobe said it was the concern he has for the plight of the people that motivated them as lawyers to come together to add value to the lives and rights of every Gambian, particularly the underserved and people with limited means such as women, children and youth.

Lawyer Jobe pointed out that their present at Mile II is a clear manifestation that the Gambia has changed for better because few years back this was not possible at all, noting that thus, as citizens we must demand greater respect for our fundamental human rights and freedom and unless we insist on our rights and livelihood, our democratic gains would be meaningless.

CLS provides pro bono legal assistance and representation to underserved persons with limited means who are charged with criminal offences, victims of human rights violations in cases before the national courts; initiates and undertakes public interest litigation on human rights and constitutional matters before the High and Supreme Courts of The Gambia and engage in capacity building workshops and community awareness creation with the prime objectives to encourage citizens’ participation in the democratisation process, public debates on national issues, freedom of expression and divergence while pushing the human rights and good governance agenda forward.

Deputising the Director General of Gambia Prison Service, Superintendent Modou Lamin Ceesay thanked CLS for the initiative in engaging them in the Transitional Justice process of the country.

He highlighted that their role in the transformation processes of the country is critical as there cannot be any meaningful transitional justice without the involvement of the prison, which is a vital player in the legal system.