Gambia: The Enforcement of Covid-19 Regulations and the Human Rights Commission

opinion

A state must have guards and fences aimed at protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens. One of the guards that should be playing a fundamental role in preventing impunity in the enforcement of the law is the National Human Rights Commission. The Commission should have COVID-19 policy and strategic plan. It should be able to conduct advocacy on the role of security forces in the enforcement of the law. People are calling Foroyaa from the hinterland to ask whether they should pay fines to security forces for alleged violation of the curfew.

This means that people do not know what due process is. They do not know that they have a right to fair hearing before an Independent and impartial tribunal.

It is the Commission recognised as the authority that should be receiving reports on excesses in enforcing the law. Foroyaa is of the opinion that impunity in law enforcement would have been reduced if the National Human Rights Commission is heard everywhere teaching what is due process and is seen everywhere for people to lodge their complaints for redress.

National institutions should become stronger under a State of Emergency. However, with proper checks and balances the growth in strength would only lead to greater protection of the people from harm rather than subject to harm as a result of abuse of authority.

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