Gambia has again demonstrated its blatant disregard for human rights by stopping a UN team from investigating allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings in the country, Amnesty International said today.
The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Méndez, were denied access to detention centres where prisoners are believed to be at high risk of torture.
“The UN's human rights monitors have confirmed what we have long been saying, describing torture as a ‘consistent practice’ in Gambia, with authorities repressing perceived dissent with brutal force. Denying monitors access to the country's prisons can only suggest that the authorities have something to hide," said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
The blocked visit comes just weeks after Gambia was heavily criticized for its human rights record during its Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations (UN).