Gambia: Human rights activist says President Barrow’s decision on the Faraba saga is indefensible

The Unfortunate Press Release of the Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is not a damage repairer! The Minister of Justice is not the spokesperson of the President. Therefore let the Ministry of Justice spare us with their “choice of words”! The Ministry of Justice cannot defend the indefensible!

The statement from State House is clear! The President spoke his mind. Therefore the Minister of Justice should have just made it clear that the President cannot discontinue a criminal case. It was not the job of the President to agree or disagree with the request from Faraba. The President should not even have hinted about withdrawing the case much more speak it. By attempting to nicely colour an unfortunate statement the Ministry has therefore undermined the cause of justice and accountability.

The Minister of Justice should tell the President that he should have told the Alkalo of Faraba that the President has no such powers to discontinue a criminal case. There was no need for the President to impress anyone by giving out promises that are unconstitutional!

The killings in Faraba were not just about the victims and the community of Faraba. That incident is a national issue as well given the wider context of police brutality and abuse of power in our society. Hence what is expected is not to succumb to the demands of an Alkalo but to look at the bigger picture which is about the present and the future of The Gambia to protect human rights by ensuring accountability .

Pres. Barrow and Justice Minister Tambadou have a constitutional duty to protect human rights and ensure that public and security institutions and officials are held accountable at all times! Where human lives are destroyed no amount of emotions should be used to stop justice from taking its course!

Human rights are meaningless without the fulfillment of obligations by duty bearers and accountability of all! When Rights are violated and there is no accountability then impunity prevails. There must be accountability for Faraba deaths!

Hence we do not need an apologetic Ministry of Justice rather we need a Ministry of Justice that stands for justice, human rights and the rule of law at all times!

For The Gambia Our Homeland.

Madi Jobarteh

West Minster Foundation Country Rep. &

Human Rights activist.

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