With MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Working Group of Musicians as Messengers of Democracy project, strongly condemn the arbitrary arrests and detention of citizens in the Republic of the Gambia, in particular the arrest and detention of Ali Cham ‘Killa Ace’.
Killa Ace and 36 other youth were given multiple charges regarding the July 24th protests at the Serekunda market and are currently detained at the State Central Prisons in Mile II.
The Working Group, a West African network of civil society leaders, musicians and democratic movements, stand in support and solidarity with Ali ‘Killa Ace’ Cham. The Working Group condemns the arrest and violation of the rights of citizens to freedom of expression, free speech and peaceful assembly by the state.
According to them, Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights explicitly states: “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction to race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status’’, whilst Part II of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights similarly states: “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
The Working Group calls on the democratically elected Government of the Gambia led by President Adama Barrow, to respect the constitutional provisions which he swore to protect and uphold. The Group further charges the Gambia Anti-Crime Unit of the Gambia Police Force to respect the rights of citizens to freedom of expression, freedom from torture and ill-treatment, free speech and peaceful assembly by the citizenry.
The Africa we want is an Africa where democratic values, culture, practices, universal principles of human rights, gender equality, justice and the rule of law are entrenched.
Signed: #GambiaHasDecided Movement, Gambia, Team Gomsa Bopa, Gambia, The Togolese Civil League, Togo, Tuwindi, Mali, Yen A’ Marre, Senegal and YIAGA AFRICA, Nigeria.