In Gambia fear rules, not freedom. On 22 July, people from across the world are joining together to take action to call on the Gambian government to uphold its people's basic rights and freedoms.
The day of action coincides with the national Gambian holiday called "Freedom Day", celebrated since President Yahya Jammeh came into power in 1994. However, there is no freedom in the Gambia. Instead, it has a massive record of human rights violations.
Human rights violations are perpetrated by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), army and police against real and perceived opponents of the government on a routine basis. Once people are in custody of the government, they are susceptible to a whole range of human rights violations including unlawful detention, torture, unfair trials, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings.
Last year, President Jammeh threatened to kill anyone who wanted to destabilize the country. Specifically, he threatened human rights defenders and those working with them, emphasizing that their security and personal safety would not be guaranteed by the government of the Gambia.
On 22 July, activists and members of the public will be taking part in demonstrations, lobbying and press conferences in 14 countries and 19 cities.
Be one of them, take action to :
1. Stop human rights violations and comply with obligations under the African Charter with regard to the right to liberty, freedom from torture, right to fair trial, freedom of expression and association;
2. Allow doctors, lawyers and relatives of detainees access to prisons and other places of detention;
3. End incommunicado detention and enforced disappearances, and ensure that security personnel who engage in these practices are brought to justice in fair trials;
4. End the harassment of journalists and media organizations
Join the campaign, sign Amnesty International's petition below urging the Gambian government to Stop the Rule of Fear and Start the Rule of Law. If you don't want your full name to be displayed, please sign with your first name and the first letter of your surname. e.g Ndey Ceassay , sign as Ndey C.
Please circulate this page to your friends, families and networks.
Image: People protest outside the Gambia High Commission in London in July 2009, against the lack of freedom for people living in the Gambia © Amnesty International