Jun 30, 2020, 10:54 AM
The Gambia has registered two more cases of covid-19, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 47 with 2 deaths.
Out of the total number of witnesses appearing before the Commission so far, 168 were victims and 50 were self-confessed perpetrators and adversely mentioned persons. Twenty-seven witnesses have testified via video link from the Gambian Diaspora. These hearings also included several protected witnesses and in-camera testimonies.
On 21 October 2020, the Commission concluded its public hearings on the Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme (PATP). Among other things, I, in my capacity as Chairman, read for the record of the Commission the names of thirty-one individuals who died either during the treatment programme or shortly after leaving it. These unfortunate souls, the majority of them citizens of The Gambia, were victims of the State who were lured into the PATP, having been told that the President of The Republic of The Gambia could cure HIV/AIDS, the ailment afflicting these individuals. It was a brazen and mendacious claim! The treatment, in all its manifestations, constituted a gross violation and abuse of the human rights of these patients. Again, for the record, the thirty-one individuals are the following:
The Commission will draw its conclusions on these violations and abuses and the death of these vulnerable individuals. May their souls rest in peace.
In carrying out its mandate to create an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights in The Gambia during the period July 1994 to January 2017, the Commission commenced on 22 October 2020, institutional hearings on the NIA which will provide a backdrop against which the violations and abuses occurred. The hearings are not intended to absolve anyone of individual responsibility but rather to provide the institutional context that facilitated the commission of the violations and abuses by state-agents or sponsored perpetrators.
The findings and conclusions reached by the Commission from these hearings will hopefully be designed to help transform and reform the institutions that aided and enabled the commission of the violations, including the establishment of oversight bodies to monitor and respond to such violations.
As we continue our public hearings, this Commission reaffirms its commitment to execute to the best of its ability, and without fear or favor, affection or ill will, the mandate entrusted to it by the Gambian people through their National Assembly.
We renew our call to all victims of human rights violations between July 1994 and January 2017, and all persons who may have helpful information to please come forward and give statements or share their stories with us. We reassure all potential witnesses that their confidentiality is fully guaranteed. And as usual, we crave the public’s continued support and prayers as together we continue this important journey.
“The recently announced decision of designating the Kanifing General Hospital as an exclusive covid-19 treatment center risks jeopardising access to healthcare for the large number of patients that rely on this facility for the treatment of non-covid illness at a time when our already over stretched health facilities have difficulties coping with their existing patients,” the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Ousainou Darboe says on Sunday as the party commemorates 24 years of existence.
Sulayman Saho, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Central Badibou has said that President Adama Barrow should not brag about Kerr Jarga Ward and Niamina West by-elections after his party emerged victorious in both areas.
Various heads of schools and concerned parents have called on the government to review the stance on the closure of schools and reopen them without wasting more time, as many students are falling out of the educational track the longer they stay at home.