Gambia has significantly improved on the 2018 United States country report on human rights practices though there some black spots. The report was released on Wednesday.
The U.S 2018 human rights report on Gambia has indicated that the country’s prison conditions were “harsh and potentially life threatening due to food shortages, gross overcrowding, physical abuse, and inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care”.
Gambia is emerging from two decades dictatorship where its major public institutions have been seriously affected. Its prison system, as its security forces, as used as an instrument of punishments by former ruler Yahya Jammeh.
Since Jammeh was defeated in 2018, President Adama Barrow has promised a reform prison system with proper facility enough to be call a “correction centre”. So far, that promise remained unfulfilled.
“Gross overcrowding was a problem, particularly in the remand wing of the Mile 2 prison in Banjul, where detainees were held pending trial. Food quality and access to potable water, sanitation, ventilation, lighting, and medical care were inadequate,” the report indicated.
“Authorities did not conduct proper investigations of credible allegations of mistreatment. On September 5, however, authorities met with prisoners to discuss grievances and agreed to investigate them. By year’s end no information on specific complaints or follow-up action taken had been released. Independent Monitoring: The government granted to the Office of the
“Ombudsman unrestricted access to all detention centers as well as to local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with prior permission.”
However, the report has indicated an overall improvement in the protection of human rights, rule of law and good governance.
The report has also acknowledge the free environment for freedom of expression and freedom of speech including free environment for political participation, among others.