Gambia accuses Special Rappateur of ‘bias’

By Sanna Camara

Jammeh EU    Christof-Heyns

The government of the Gambia has accused the UN Special Rappateur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of ‘bias’, further expressing ‘dismay’ at the manner its Report to the UN Human Rights commission was presented against The Gambia.

The Special Rapporteur conducted an official visit to the Gambia from 3 to 7 November 2014. Its report presented to the UN Human Rights Commission came as a result of this mission which included wide ranging investigation, interviews and consultations on issues under its mandate.

However, the government of The Gambia said “the allegations contained therein “are unsubstantiated and lack merit, with a heavy reliance on tabloids as a source of information. The Report fails to highlight the positive effort and achievements of The Gambia in the field of Human rights.”

Inaccurate representation of the situation

“Given the bias and speculative nature of the Report, the Report is an inaccurate representation of the situation on the ground. We note that the Report of the Special Rapporteur is based substantially on information generated by other bodies such as Amnesty International and tabloid Reports whose publications about The Gambia remain unverified,” the Gambia government reacted.

According to Gambia’s reaction, “The fact that the Special Rapporteur based most of his allegations on inferences, speculations and unverified information are particularly worrying especially when the Special Rapporteur did not confirm the veracity of these allegations with The Gambian Government Officials.”

In ten days’ time, Mr. Christof Heyns, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, will participate in the 29th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

 Findings and recommendations

“He will address the Council to present his latest activities and country-specific and thematic reports and conduct an interactive dialogue with State Delegations and NGOs,” a media dispatch from the office of the Special Rappateur said.

“The report presents his main findings, including with regard to the imposition of the death penalty, the resumption of executions, the use of force by law enforcement agencies, impunity for extrajudicial executions, the use of force during demonstrations, lack of accountability for human rights violations, groups at risk and fear of reprisals,” the dispatch indicated.

It also proposes recommendations to the Government, the international community and civil society to prevent unlawful killings and ensure better protection of the right to life.

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