In traditional Africa, children are taught at an early age not to point at their father’s village with a left hand, despite all its underdevelopment and worrisome social cohesion. Perhaps that is what Minister Mahoney sets out to do as he stood at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva defending Gambia’s indefensible human rights records under President Jammeh’s watch. It is not only off-putting but also inexcusable for Minister Mahoney to unashamedly endeavour to white-wash Gambia’s human rights records which are an open secret for all and sundry.
“There is no detention without trial in the Gambia. Prisoners’ rights are well protected. Furthermore, Gambia supports the 72 hour law of detention and where it exceeds, people go to court and file habeas corpus”, Justice Minister Mahoney told the bemused UNHRC today.
Who is Basiru Mahoney trying to fool and/or achieve by coming up with such preposterous assertion? Certainly, not even China. Pa Samba Jow reminds Minister Mahoney, “If china is concerned about your human rights record, then you damn well know that you have a seriously rotten human rights record”.
Dr Amadou S Janneh who is one of the survivors of Gambia’s appalling human rights records forewarns, “Minister Mahoney will someday regret this: says government totally adheres to constitutional provision requiring detainees to be charged within 72 hours. Some of his predecessors and former colleagues (in jail) will disagree”.
Gambia’s prisoners are the most malnourished in the whole world, with no rights whatsoever, yet Justice Minister Mahoney has the audacity to tell the world that Mile II has been recently given a facelift and prisoners receive quality food. In support of his government’s muzzling of freedom of expression, he opined criminal laws are necessary in the Gambia to curb false information which devastates small Gambia. On the death penalty, Minister Mahoney said the moratorium was only lifted in 2012 due to the spate of crime.
The world is neither asleep nor ignorant of what goes in the Gambia. This was punctuated in Ambassador Harper of the USA statement in response to Justice Minister Mahoney’s dismissible report, “The United State is deeply dismayed by the human rights situation in The Gambia. Among other things, we are concerned by government interference with the electoral process; and government harassment and abuse of critics, including restrictions of freedom of the press and speech of Gambian citizens and journalists, and reports of torture, arrest, detention, and sometimes enforced disappearances of citizens for exercising their human rights. We are also concerned about discrimination against Gambian citizens based on sexual orientation or gender identity, trafficking in persons, forced child marriage, child prostitution, and exploitative child labour.”
Pata PJ surmised, “Does look like every country rep out there have a chance to whip poor little Gambia. I’m sure they’re ‘deeply concerned’ for Gambians but quite aware that the country has a moron for a president and none of these concerns would mean anything to him. It’s best they start reconsidering their relationship with him to genuinely push the agenda for respecting rights. Yaya is mentally handicapped to comprehend all these”.