‘Jammeh’s legislative legacy remains’: Amnesty issues statement on oppressive laws and TRRC

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Amnesty International has issued a statement saying former President Yahya Jammeh’s legislative legacy remains almost on untouched despite a pledge by President Adama Barrow to rip it apart.

Amnesty’s statement reads: “In December 2021, The Gambia will have its first presidential election since the departure of Yahya Jammeh, five years after President Barrow took power.

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“In 2016, when Adama Barrow became president, he committed himself to change Gambia and to respect human rights. Unfortunately, almost five years later, the legislative landscape has not changed as much as national and international human rights organizations expected. Indeed, Jammeh’s legislative legacy remains almost untouched.

“Criminal laws on sedition and publication of false news which were used to oppress civil society during Jammeh’s rule are still in force. The Criminal Code still contains several clauses restricting freedom of expression, and permission from the police to protest remains in force and has been used to unnecessarily restrict public gatherings.

“The death penalty continues to be applied and the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Bill has been pending at the National Assembly since last year.

“The current parliamentary session, which is expected to end by next week, represents one of the latest opportunities to make significant changes before the presidential election in December. We decided to issue a legal analysis of oppressive laws remaining and bills pending because we want significant legal reforms before the end of the year.

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“We also want to put pressure on the Gambian government to implement the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) recommendations that are meant to be published on 30 September, and to avoid that the recent agreement between President Barrow and Yahya Jammeh political party (APRC) leads to impunity for human rights violations committed during the previous regime.

“Amnesty International is calling the Gambian government and Parliament to pass as many pending law reforms enhancing human rights as possible before the end of the year.

“As well as seeking the full commitment of the Gambian government to implement TRRC recommendations, especially those ones regarding accountability for human rights violations and avoiding impunity.”

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