National Human Rights Commission Says 137 in Police Net, ask for their Rights to be protected
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has disclosed that 137 people have been confirmed to have been arrested by the police including protesters and journalists following the Sunday’s violent protest which also saw several critically injured.
The Commission warned the police to subject the detainees to due process as dictated by law while urging for the reopening of the two media houses that were also closed down.
“The NHRC is informed that a number of protestors and PIU officials were injured, 137 arrested and the operational license of two FM radio Stations suspended,” it states.
The NHRC had engaged both the ‘Operation Three Years Jotna’ and the senior security officials ahead of the Sunday protest where it expressed concerns over the looming situation.
“Unfortunately, the incident on the 26th January confirmed the fears raised by the NHRC, that if the misunderstanding was not addressed, it may lead to public order.”
It warned that violence of this nature must be avoided at all cost. The commission indulges both the law enforcement agencies, the 3 years Jotna Concerned Citizens and any other entity to exercise restraint and abide by the law.
“In this regard, the NHRC is requesting that all those who are arrested are accorded due process as stipulated under Sections 17 and 19 of the 1997 Constitution; those injured are afforded the right medical treatment; and that the government reconsiders its decision to suspend the licences of Brikama-based Home Digital FM and Tallingding Kunjang-based King FM radio stations,” the statement further stated..
The NHRC reiterates that as a nation, everybody abides by the rule of law and due process to prevent anarchy and lawlessness in the country. It also reminds the state and its agents that they are the primary duty bearers who have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the fundamental rights of everyone living within its jurisdiction.
“Everyone also has the responsibility to build a peaceful and prosperous Gambia where human rights are respected and enjoyed by everyone. The NHRC will closely monitor the situation to ensure that human rights standards are observed and maintained.”