#National News

Activista demands Barrow, gov’t to stop threats against CSOs, others

May 16, 2022, 2:35 PM | Article By: Jankey Ceesay & Isatou Ceesay Bah

Activista-The Gambia, a youth led Civil Society Organisation that works to promote young men and women has demanded that President Barrow and his government desist from any form of intimidation and threats against CSOs, the media and other members of the public with immediate effect.

A statement released by Activista-The Gambia stated they wish to draw the attention of President Barrow and his government to their obligation to protect the civic space for the purpose of amplifying the voice of the “Never Again” slogan.

“It is important to note that the voice of the Civil Society is the voice of the people, and therefore any attempt to suppress the activism of the CSOs constitutes an attempt to suppress the masses, to whom power belongs. Therefore, as members of the CSO community, we will not relent in protecting this new-found democracy, in which freedom of expression and the right to an opinion is integral,” said Activista.

It therefore condemned in the strongest possible term the hallmark of a governance system that is relapsing into dictatorship.

“This is manifested in the police brutal beating of Mr Kebba Chatty, the perpetual denial of police permits for citizens to exercise their fundamental freedoms and the verbal assault by President Adama Barrow directed to civil society in particular in the person of Mr Madi Jobarteh.   We demand that The President be measured in his statements whenever he speaks to the people he swore to protect as he is ‘the Servant-in Chief’ of the people,” said Activista.

Similarly, the statement said, The Gambia is a signatory to international conventions including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and as enshrined in the Constitution of The Gambia. “These laws guarantee the right to political participation, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of movement, freedom of the press and the media, and freedom from all forms of discrimination, among others.”

Activista also urged President Barrow to be a unifier in a highly polarised nation, a national symbol and a leader who upholds the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia and guarantees the right to protect each and everyone.

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