As Gambia gets set to defend its rights record
By Kemo Cham
Yaya Dampha, the Europe
affairs based editor of Jollofnews, will join a select group of people in the Swiss capital of Geneva in the course of the week, where he will take part in this year’s Universal Periodic Review(UPR), the 7th session, in the working group of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
A human rights advocate and founding member of the Sweden based Human Rights for All (HUMRA), a non-governmental organization, Mr. Dampha is travelling to Geneva at the invitation of Amnesty International. He is scheduled to leave for the Swiss capital this Tuesday 9th February. The event of the week takes place between the 10th and 11th of February.
The universal periodic review is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council under which it reviews, each four years, the fulfilment by all 192 member states of their human rights obligations and commitments. It is a cooperative mechanism based on objective and reliable information and equal treatment of all states, according to a 2008 document published by Amnesty International.
Like the rest of the 17 countries whose human rights records are presently under review, the Geneva session will offer the Gambia the opportunity to defend its highly disputed human rights situations.
“This is an opportunity for me to let the world know about the derailing human rights conditions in the Gambia,” Yahya Dampha, Coordinator of HUMRA and campaigner, said.
Mr. Dampha promised to join other NGOs at the meeting in lobbying for both press and political freedom in his country of origin.
Sources in Banjul have already confirmed that the Gambian government is being represented by a ‘‘high powered delegation’’, comprising ministers, among them Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Also said to be part of the Banjul delegation is the Secretary General at the office of the president, among various human rights experts from various other departments.
The Gambian delegation, whose mission is to defend the government’s human rights record, is reported to have already departed for Switzerland, prior to a number of meetings convened with the view to coordinating their role in Geneva. The issue of Female Genital Mutilation and other violations of human rights are among top key issues said to have featured in the pre-departure discussions of the delegation. You can read in details on the UN Universal Periodic Review by going to our Human Right Section