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IGP Urged To Investigate Assault Of Civilian By Police

Sheriff Kijera Victims Center Chairman

The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victims Center) has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the cause of the assault of an unarmed civilian by PIU officers and deal with the perpetrators in accordance with the law.

The Victims Center also expressed sadness over the incident capture in a viral video on 10th March at the IEC West Coast Region office; following the disqualification of Momodou Sabally, the United Democratic Party aspirant for the Busumbala constituency  by the Returning Officer based on Section 90 (1)(e) of the 1997 Constitution.

Below is the full statement 

Condemnation of Police Brutality meted on UDP Supporters during NAM Nominations in Brikama, WCR on March 10, 2022

The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victims Center) is deeply saddened by the recent video circulating on social media where the Police Intervention Unit of The Gambia Police Force were seen assaulting supporters of the opposition UDP parliamentary candidate for Busumbala, Momodou Sabally shortly after his nomination was rejected by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The way the officers handled the civilians is unjustified and a grave human rights violation. The Victims Center is dismayed by this brutality on civilians and cannot let it go without expressing the irresponsibility of the PIU officers using tear gas to disperse crowds, especially during the on-going security sector reforms in the country as part of the Transitional Justice process.

This act of brutality is totally unacceptable and deserves absolute condemnation to the strongest terms, and we are urging The Gambia Police Force to have clear guidelines on the use of tear gas against civilians. This incident was superseded by similar incidents where the PIU resorted to the use of tear gas, when the circumstances could have been controlled using other police tactics.

The Victims Center and the community of victims are therefore calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other relevant stakeholders such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate the circumstances that led to this incident and the perpetrators be dealt with the due process of the law.

We further call on all law enforcement officers to be law-abiding and treat civilians with respect and dignity to preserve their human rights. The Gambia Center for victims of Human Rights Violations will continue to work with all players in fighting for justice for victims, and ensure that peace continues to prevail in our country, the Smiling Coast.


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