Gambia: We Did Not Want to Dictate the Human Rights Commission - the Commission Finally Steps in

Since the caste contradiction intensified and the remanding in custody of accused persons went outside of the ambit of the criminal procedure code and threats of violence fueled in many quarters we wanted to ask what the significance of the human rights commission is. However, we did not want to appear to be dictating even though the media is charged with the responsibility of holding authorities to account. Now that the Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a statement, we hope the public will take note that there is a human rights commission in the country.

Family members should not hesitate to petition the commission and request for investigation to be done to document human rights violation and provide guidance on how to remedy them. The NHRC is a twin to the TRRC. The TRRC is supposed to look into the past whilst the NHRC is to look into current human rights violations and future ones. If these two institutions carry out their functions to the fullest, human rights violations will not plague the Gambia as it did in the past and if threatening recourse is available in the present.

A human rights commission should take up matters such as the death of Haruna Jatta and other issues so that the public will know that it will make its voice heard whenever violation of human rights occur without speedy justice. Foroyaa will continue to monitor the activities of the NHRC and leave the public to determine whether the institution is worth creating.

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