Call on The Gambia to ensure a fair trial for anti-FGM activists Dr. Isatou Touray & Amie Bojang-Sissoho and prohibit FGM

UPDATE, October 20, 2010: The Gambia: Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho released on bail
Prominent Gambian anti-FGM activists, Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho were released on bail on October 20, 2010. Equality Now continues to advocate for their right to a fair trial and will continue to monitor the case. Please keep up the pressure by calling on The Gambian authorities to safeguard their right to a fair trial.


Equality Now is deeply concerned about the arrests of prominent Gambian anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) activists and long-time partner, Dr. Isatou Touray, the Executive Director of The Gambia Committee Against Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP), and her colleague Amie Bojang-Sissoho, who were taken under police custody on October 11, 2010 without any explanation and later moved to Mile Two Central Prison where they were detained while investigations in their case reportedly continued.

We call upon the Gambian government to ensure that they are guaranteed their right to a free and fair trial in an independent and impartial court; security and dignity of person, and freedom from unlawful detention as guaranteed in Articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and Article 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Gambia.

We are writing to you about the October 12, 2010 arrest, detention and denial of bail of Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho of The Gambia Committee Against Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP), when they were allegedly charged with misappropriation of funds despite their having been cleared by an initial investigation. Dr. Touray and Ms. Bojang-Sissoho were denied bail until October 20, 2010 despite their constitutional right to bail. The government of The Gambia is also bound by regional and international instruments that provide the granting of bail where bail conditions are fulfilled. Article 9 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that any persons awaiting trial must be granted bail. In addition, Section 19 of the Gambian Constitution confirms bail as a constitutional right.

We urge you to ensure that Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho are guaranteed their right to a free and fair trial in an independent and impartial court; security and dignity of person, and freedom from unlawful detention as guaranteed in Articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and Article 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Gambia.

Further in keeping with its regional and national obligations, the Gambian government must protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) through the enactment of a law and other preventive and protective mechanisms. The Gambia has ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa which, in Article 5(b), requires States Parties to prohibit FGM through legislative measures backed by sanctions. In addition, it has ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which, in Section 21, requires States Parties to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices and in particular those “prejudicial to the health or life of the child.” The Gambia is also a party to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which both call for member states to take measures to protect girls, including from harmful cultural practices.

Please take immediate steps to enact and enforce anti-FGM legislation and to support the work of groups such as GAMCOTRAP that are working to end this practice.

This petition is no longer active.

730 total signers.

This petition will be delivered to the government of The Gambia.
Learn more about the campaign here:
http://www.equalitynow.org/english/takeaction/newsalert/urgentalert_gambia_20101018_en.html

Bookmark and Share