Following allegations of human rights violations against Gambian human rights defenders
and a public statement made by President Jammeh in 2009 threatening to kill anyone who
sought to sabotage and destabilise his Government, in particular human rights defenders
and those who support them, the World Organisation Against Torture and the International
Federation for Human Rights, in the framework of their joint programme,
the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, decided to send a fact-finding
mission to The Gambia.
The objective of the mission, which took place from May 2 to 11, 2010, was to assess the situation of human rights defenders, by drawing a panorama of the main actors of the civil society
operating in the country - both defenders of civil and political rights and economic social
and cultural rights - and the risks they face in carrying out their activities.
To that end, the mission was mandated to collect first hand information and testimonies on
the working environment of Gambian human rights defenders including NGO members,
trade-unionists and journalists as well as the effective enjoyment of their rights and notably
their freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, their rights to a fair trial and
to an effective remedy.