In reaction to the re-election of President Adama Barrow over the weekend in the first election since the departure of Yahya Jammeh, Michèle Eken, Amnesty International West Africa researcher said:
“As he starts a second term in office, President Adama Barrow must tackle the huge challenge of ending impunity for human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh which starts with prosecuting alleged perpetrators in fair trials before criminal courts.
“The President’s agenda must also include the repeal of laws restricting freedom of expression and freedom of assembly which can still be liberally used to muzzle dissenting voices.
We regret that President Barrow did not sign Amnesty International’s seven-point human rights manifesto contrary to several other presidential candidates.Michèle Eken, Amnesty International West Africa researcher.
“In addition to protecting freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and fighting impunity, the manifesto includes commitments to take a tougher stance on ending sexual, gender-based violence and discrimination towards women, to promote access to food, employment, education, housing and health, to adopt a national law prohibiting torture and to remove death penalty provisions from Gambia’s statute books.
‘’It’s not too late for the President to make this clear commitment to tackle these pressing issues and we urge him to do so.”
During the electoral campaign in November, Amnesty International delegates presented a seven-point human rights manifesto co-signed by 10 Gambian human rights organizations to as many political parties and candidates as possible.
Amnesty delegates met with eight political parties and candidates, seven of which signed the human rights manifesto including four presidential candidates.
Despite contacting President Barrow’s party multiple times by email, text and telephone, the delegation was unable to meet with them. Amnesty International sent the manifesto to them several weeks prior to election day but did not receive a response regarding the endorsement.
The commissioners of the Gambian Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission submitted their final report to President Adama Barrow on 25 November.