Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Nation Mourns The First President’s Departure While 37 Gambian Youths Are Behind Bars

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The speakers took turns in drawing lessons that others should learn from the departed first president of the Gambia. The key attributes mentioned which could be gathered from his experience are tolerance of diversity and openness to dissenting views. Different perspectives were taken in summing up his legacy.

Finally the nation must take stock of the current governance environment and engage in debate on the way forward. It is hoped that as the state recognises the value of tolerance of dissent, there is need for the Attorney General to diffuse the feeling of disappointment which follows the incarceration of the thirty seven youths.

We will emphasise again, the prosecution of a few after civil action involving hundreds or thousands of people constitutes selective justice. Since one cannot take thousands to court one selects a few and accuses them of perpetrating all the destruction that may accompany civil disobedience. This is why no prosecution should take place after civil disobedience.

It would be necessary for the nation to be inspired by the government during these days of mourning for the departure of its first president. The Attorney General and Minister of justice could file a nolle prosequi to facilitate the discharge of the 37 youth who are now paying the price for the thousands who occupied the streets.

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