By Sanna Camara
Peaceful demonstration is guaranteed by the constitution of The Gambia and therefore an option open to the United Democratic Party, and any other political party, said Ousainou Darboe, Secretary General and party leader of the opposition UDP.
Mr. Darboe said it has been evident how much the APRC government “can distort the law”, and how much they can “resort to very unorthodox methods” to try to suppress demonstrations. “Yes, we have not [used it in the past]. But it is an option that has been open to us and certainly we can exercise the option at any time,” argued he, when asked why the UDP has not applied demonstrations to bring solutions to their political problems.
The lawyer turned politician noted that the political nature of this country does not allow demonstrations, even if they are peaceful. “Otherwise, two journalists would not have been picked up just for applying for a permit to stage demonstrations. Two of your colleagues (journalists), Mr Saidykhan and Ceesay, according to the information we have, had applied for a permit [to hold demonstrations against the execution of death row inmates]….” he cited.
“I mean… if the law says that [apply for license to old demonstrtios], and you apply for it and got arrested, then you can see how much they can distort the law, and how much they can resort to very unorthodox methods to try to suppress demonstrations,” said Mr. Darboe.