US RELEASES THE GAMBIA 2014 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

The US government has released the Gambia 2014 Human Rights Report
which deals with a wide range of issues including arbitrary or
unlawful deprivation of life, disappearance, torture and other cruel,inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, prison and detention
centre conditions, arbitrary arrest or detention, arrest procedures
and treatment of detainees, denial of fair public trial, political
prisoners and detainees, civil judicial procedures and remedies,
regional human rights court decisions, arbitrary interference with
privacy, family, home or correspondence, freedom of speech and press,
internet freedom, academic freedom and cultural events, freedom of
peaceful assembly and association, freedom of religion, freedom of
movement, internally displaced persons, protection of refugees and
stateless persons, protection of refugees, respect for political
rights: the right of citizens to change their government, corruption
and lack of transparency in government, governmental attitude
regarding international and nongovernmental investigation of alleged
violations of human rights, discrimination, societal abuses, and
trafficking in persons, women, children, anti-Semitism, trafficking in
person, persons with disabilities, acts of violence, discrimination,
and other abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity, HIV
and AIDS Social Stigma, workers’ rights, freedom of association and the
right to collective bargaining, prohibition of forced or compulsory
labor, prohibition of child labor and minimum age for employment,
discrimination with respect to employment or occupation, acceptable
conditions of work.
Below is the executive summary of the report.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Gambia is a multi-party democratic republic. In 2011 voters
re-elected President Alhaji Yahya Jammeh to a fourth term in a
peaceful, orderly election; however, international observers
considered it neither free nor fair. President Jammeh’s party, the
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC),
continued to dominate the political landscape, winning an overwhelming
majority of National Assembly seats in the parliamentary elections in
2012 and in the local government elections held in April 2013. Six of
the seven opposition parties boycotted or otherwise did not
participate in both the national assembly and local government
elections to protest government intervention and intimidation of
opponents. Authorities at times failed to maintain effective control
over the security forces.
A failed coup on December 30 resulted in the arrest of individuals
suspected of participating in the coup as well as family members of
alleged coup plotters. Security forces reportedly killed three coup
plotters during the coup attempt.
The most serious human rights problems in the country included
torture, arrest, detention, and sometimes enforced disappearance of
citizens, and government harassment and abuse of its critics.
Government officials routinely used various methods of intimidation to
retain power.
Other reported human rights problems included poor prison conditions;
denial of due process; prolonged pre-trial and incommunicado
detention; restrictions on privacy and freedoms of speech, press, and
assembly; government interference in the practice of religion;
corruption; violence against women and girls, including female genital
mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); forced child marriage; trafficking in
persons, including child prostitution; discrimination against lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals; and child labor.
While the government took steps to prosecute or punish some
individuals who committed abuses, impunity and lack of sustained
enforcement remained problems.