Monday, February 6

Human Rights abuse prevails in prison

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By Binta Jaiteh

Honourable Sulayman Saho, a National Assembly member for Badibou Central, has said the standing committee report on Human Rights and Constitutional matters phase 1 report indicated that Human Rights abuses have prevailed in the country’s prisons.

Speaking during the debate on the oversight visit to major detention centers in the Gambia, Honourable Saho noted that the committee did a job well done.

During the debate, he dilated their rights and said these rights need to be protected but he argued that these same rights are “violated in our detention centers and sometimes the way people are treated is not good. I believe the Human right committee report has highlighted the instances where the prisoners are not given adequate food to eat and food is essential and part of human life.”

According to him, detention without trial makes some people languish in prison without having access to justice is very key because people are detained for more than 10 years without trial. “I believe is high time for the people in the judiciary to look into that so that the cases could be brought to court,” he stated.

However, justice delayed is Justice denied and also some are accused of drug trafficking a lot of them are detained due to cannabis issues “but I want people to classify cannabis as a hard drug, you cannot call it a hard drug when people who are smuggling and bringing containers of cocaine in this country are freed.”

 Meanwhile, he said the people who smoke are arrested, detained, and jailed without tangible reason 

‘’I am coming with a motion to look at that clause of the drug-related issues the report also highlighted that males and females have to improve on the structure’s members revealing that former members of the assembly were arrested in this country because of this cannabis issue and even jailed noting that who knows the next victim’’ he added.

Honourable Lamin Ceesay, National Assembly member for Kiang west noted that the concept of reform when it comes to human rights issues in this country, we want to inform the government that the concept of reform for human rights is not just freedom of expression that is one aspect of human right.

He said major human rights violations are done in detention centers. They have talked about tampering with evidence in some of the security areas why are we crying for that evidence is because of the serious human rights violations that have been meted on people during the past while thinking we got rid of these issues and still other human violations are going on, he explained.

He concluded that “we should stop calling the Ministry of Justice to act as national assembly members we should make serious reform on the laws because we have a very slow legal process unless we have a new constitution that will be in the interest of the Gambians.”