“Nyang on Constitutional Rights and Political Rallies”
VOL: 1 ISSN: 07: The Senior Administrative Secretary of the United Democracy Party (UDP) has said that his party was denied their right to freedom of assembly by security personnel based on the ground that the party is not permitted to hold a political rally.
Mr. Emmanuel Nyang was speaking to The Voice Newspaper in an exclusive interview at his home in Latrikunda German on 14th December, 2009. He lamented that the party militants were denied their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly which is fully guaranteed by the constitution of The Gambia by not approving the request of permit written by the party leader.
He explained that the meeting was cancelled in order to avoid violence between the UDP party militants and the security personnel and to maintain the peace that prevails in the country. “I was called that security personnel were waiting at the meeting ground to block it because we do not have a permit to hold a political rally, but I told my people to calm down, and called my party leader, Mr. Ousainou Darboe to explain to him the situation on the ground,” he said.
“He then advice me to contact journalists and inform them about what is happening on the ground which I did,” he disclosed.
Mr. Nyang narrated that he called a phone number given to the Chef de Garage (chief of the garage) by one of the security personnel at the taxi garage opposite Africell building, who requested to be called when UDP party militants arrive at the ground.
He was quoted as saying: “when I called, one Mr. Bojang who claims to be the Officer in Command of the Serrekunda Police Station received the call and said that we were not issued a permit to hold a political rally.”
He said that all efforts were done to get a permit after the request written by the party leader, Mr. Ousainou Darboe.
He also recalled that they were once interrupted during a party meeting by the police officers at Serrekunda in October 2009, which led to the arrest and subsequent trial of Femi Peters, the Campaign Manager of the UDP.
“It is our political right to hold a political rally but political parties are always denied their right to assemble freely in The Gambia, which is a wrong practice,” he told The Voice Newspaper.
He said that he was not aware of any banning of political rallies in the country, adding that political parties are free to hold political rallies when ever, however and wherever they want.