Victims Center condemns police brutality against UDP supporters

Mar 15, 2022, 11:50 AM

The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victims Center) is deeply saddened by the recent video circulating on social media where the Police Intervention Unit of The Gambia Police Force were seen assaulting supporters of the opposition UDP parliamentary candidate for Busumbala, Momodou Sabally shortly after his nomination was rejected by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The way the officers handled the civilians is unjustified and a grave human rights violation. The Victims Center is dismayed by this brutality on civilians and cannot let it go without expressing the irresponsibility of the PIU officers using tear gas to disperse crowds especially during the on-going security sector reforms in the country as part of the Transitional Justice process.  

This act of brutality is totally unacceptable and deserves absolute condemnation to the strongest terms, and we are urging The Gambia Police Force to have clear guidelines on the use of tear gas against civilians.  This incident was superseded by similar incidents where the PIU resorted to the use of tear gas, when the circumstances could have been controlled using other police tactics.

The Victims Center and the community of victims are therefore, calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other relevant stakeholders such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate the circumstances that led to this incident and the perpetrators be dealt with the due process of the law.

We further call on all law enforcement officers to be law-abiding and treat civilians with respect and dignity to preserve their human rights.

The Gambia Center for victims of Human Rights Violations will continue to work with all players in fighting for justice for victims, and ensure that peace continues to prevail in our country, the Smiling Coast.

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