Friday, February 15, 2013
CSAG CALLS ON PRESIDENT MACKY SALL TO EXERT PRESSURE ON JAMMEH DURING VISIT TO THE GAMBIA
Members and affiliates of the Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG) today sent a letter to Senegalese President, His Excellency Macky Sall expressing concern about unconfirmed media reports that he is to attend celebrations marking The Gambia’s 48th Anniversary of Independence, February 18, 2013.
The CSAG stated it prefers that President Macky Sall turn down the invitation and added that it is convinced that peace and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Senegal “would continue to remain only a mirage for our people so long as respected leaders like yourself visit The Gambia and fail to address the issue that Gambians and many Senegalese nationals resident in The Gambia do not enjoy – basic human rights. “
CSAG called on President Macky Sall that should he however visit, he should encourage President Jammeh to address and improve his record on issues surrounding human rights, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and human and sub-regional security.
President Sall was also urged to demand that President Jammeh, as a show of goodwill:
Release immediately and unconditionally Abdourahman Balde, a Senegalese national from Tambacounda, detained without trial since July 1997;
Release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience and illegally detained persons, including Imam Baba Leigh, Ma Ebou Cham, MB Sarr, and Ebrima Jallow;
Allow the International Committee of the Red Cross access to the prisons and detention centres to assess conditions of detention;
Allow the Senegalese Embassy in The Gambia immediate access to Senegalese nationals in the prisons;
Inform and allow access to the burial sites to families of those executed by the Gambia Government in August 2012. Remains of their loved ones should also be handed over for appropriate burial as per the rites and religious beliefs of their families.
- Urge President Jammeh to give an unequivocal assurance that he will stop further inflaming the crisis in Casamance and Guinea Bissau.
Banka Manneh, Chairman