Emmanuel Daniel Joof,
Chairman, National Human Rights Commission
By Buba Gagigo
The National Human Rights Commission has urged the government to respect the court decisions/orders in respect to the property of the Global Homes of Medical Missions (GHoMM) situated in Bijilo.
The NHRC issued the statement on Monday (today) following the rearrest of Naneh Freda Gomez, country representative, and her colleague, Lamin Sey, of the medical missions were rearrested on 19thNovember, after the High Court on Wednesday 17th November (two days after) declared that their previous arrest and detention were unlawful and contrary to Section 19 of the 1997 Constitution.
“Taking note of the High Court judgments in the matter, the Government of The Gambia is hereby urged to respect Court decisions/orders as required by law. The practice of arbitrary arrests is unacceptable in a democratic society, and certainly are a threat to respect for fundamental human rights, particularly the right to personal liberty as well as the right to property, which are guaranteed by the 1997 Constitution and other international human rights instruments ratified by The Gambia. Disregarding or refusing to enforce Court orders and judgment by primary duty bearers, especially law enforcement officers, is not only an affront to the independence of the Judiciary but also a great threat to the rule of law and good governance,” the commission said in a statement on Monday.
The human rights commission called on the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to respect the rights and freedoms of the staff of the Global Homes of Medical Missions (GHoMM).
“The NHRC hereby calls upon The Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to respect the rights and freedoms of Nenneh Freda Gomez and Lamin Sey as guaranteed by the 1997 Constitution and to avoid actions that compromise the enjoyment of their human rights and freedoms. We hereby urged the Inspector General of Police to immediately and unconditionally release both Nenneh Freda Gomez and Lamin Sey,” the statement added.
The latest arrest of Naneh and Lamin by the police stationed at the property came following their visit to the property to deliver cement for construction. They were charged on three counts and subsequently arraigned at Brusubi court on Monday morning, where they were granted bail and their case is adjourned to January 3 12:30pm.
The mission has been at loggerheads with the police over their continuous denial to access their property, despite a court ruling confirming the Global Homes of Medical Missions (GHoMM) as the rightful owners of the property. The property, which had been the office of the Anti Crime Unit until the court order.
Meanwhile, the property is allocated by the government for the construction of a five-star hotel for the 2022 OIC summit in The Gambia, according to an official of OIC Gambia.