The National Human Right Commission has express concern about the statement utter by President Barrow at his farafenni about the use of tear gas by paramilitary against the Three years Jotna movement while equally perturbed by the remarks of Mr Ousainou Darbe, the UDP leader and presidential aspirant, to the President’s reference to him as the “CEO” of the 3 Year Jotna Movement by threatening to “ destroy” the President.

In a statement issued Tuesday evening, NHRC said:

“The NHRC is extremely concerned about the statements uttered by President Adama Barrow at his recent political campaign in Farafenni when he seemingly took pride in the use of tear gas by the paramilitary unit of the Gambia Police Force to forceful dispersal a protest of the Three Years Jotna movement. In that same vein, the NHRC is equally perturbed by the remarks of Mr Ousainou Darbe, the UDP leader and presidential aspirant, to the President’s reference to him as the “CEO” of the 3 Year Jotna Movement by threatening to “ destroy” the President Such statements by political leaders have the potential to threaten the peace and stability of the country, as well as instigate violation of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and political participation as guaranteed by the 1997 Constitution of The Republic of The Gambia and other regional and international human rights instruments ratified by The Gambia.”

“As an organ established by the State to promote and protect human rights in The Gambia and nurture a culture of respect for human rights, the Commission wishes to express in the strongest term its displeasure with such statements and to state categorically that utterances which would encourage and or glorify human rights violations and violence have no place in our society.

“We wish to remind all political leaders, their supporters and in particular the presidential aspirants, about the IEC Code on Election Campaign Ethics Order as well as their commitments under the Jangjanbureh Peace Accord which they have all signed and are obligated to abide by in both letter and spirit. These instruments expect political leaders/presidential aspirants to be well measured in their speeches and avoid inflammatory, provocative and inciting statements.

“As the country moves towards the December 4th 2021Presidential election, we urge all the presidential candidates to make their campaigns issue-based and preach peaceful-co-existence, mutual respect and tolerance of diversity as embodied in our National Anthem. It is only under a climate of tranquillity, tolerance, and respect for human rights and the rule of law that a peaceful free, fair, transparent and credible Presidential elections can be conducted. We cannot afford a reversal of the democratic gains we have made since 2017.”

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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