The Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh has denied a 17-point demand by the European Union to the Gambia government claiming he will not to accept what is not in the interest of the Gambian people.
The European Union has presented a 17-point set of demands to the government of the Gambia which are to be discussed by both parties in a meeting of the EU Article 8 Intensified Political Dialogue – slated for Friday 11th January 2013.
Addressing the cabinet in a meeting on Tuesday,as reported by The Point newspaper on Wednesday, President Jammeh made it very clear that his government will not accept the dialogue and will not also accept any of the demands by the EU to his government.
“This so-called dialogue is death because we are not going to meet with them,” he said, referring to the EU.
“In dialogue, you discuss as to how partnership will be mutually beneficial and not to be told what to do,” he said, noting that the EU is telling the government what to do and he is not going to accept that.
President Jammeh said he will not compromise on being told by any outside force how this country should be run, what laws should be passed, how we should deal with our people.
“That is not their business, it is not even up for discussion!” he said.
He emphasized that no entity should tell his government what laws should prevail in the Gambia.
“I will not compromise with evil, I will not compromise with anything that will question our independence as a country, and I will not compromise with any institution that thinks that we are not fit to rule our country, no matter what they have,” Jammeh declared.
Jammeh said the EU cannot define themselves and define the Gambia. “We are an independent sovereign state; being small does not mean that we are not human. We are as human as they are, and may be even better because we are true Muslims and true Christians in this country,” he claimed.
He said: “So if anybody thinks that Gambia is poor, and you dangle chicken change and say, ‘Yahya Jammeh, dance on broken bottles and I will give you this’, go to hell, I will not! whether it’s any institution, any bloc or any power outside this country, because I believe in the power of the Almighty Allah.”
The demands by the EU are as follows.
1. Commitment of the government of the Gambia to allow the free operation of independent media in the Gambia within a deadline of one month;
2. Removal of restrictive barriers/monetary/regulatory to registration and licensing of the media;
3. Removal of restriction on accessing and sharing information electronically within one month;
4. Revision of provision in the criminal code that allow for prosecution on the charges of sedition, libel, false publication to a public servant within 6 months.
5. Revision of laws on freedom of expression and media regulations within 24 months.
6. Upholding of moratorium on death penalty with immediate effect.
7. Provision of information regarding the recent executions, and including location of burial to families within one month.
8. Review of the death penalty by the National Assembly within 12 months.
9. Review of the death penalty by the National Assembly and to propose to introduce a de jure moratorium within 24 months.
10. Review of the provision of the death penalty in the element of the criminal code and other laws for most serious crimes within six months.
11. That the Government signed and ratified the second optional protocol to the international covenant on civil and political rights within 18 months.
12. Conclusion of an MOU with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to allow them access to prison facilities on regular basis within 3 months.
13. Provision of regular and timely access for diplomatic corps within one month.
14. Presentation of costed proposals to improve prison detention facility condition within 12 months.
15. Provision of information on the UN Convention against torture ratified on June 6th 2006 within 3 months.
16. Signing of the optional protocols to the convention against torture within 6 months.
17. Establishment of the Human Rights Commission proposed by the Commonwealth secretariat.
The Gambian leader reiterated that there is no need to meet with the European Union because “none of their demands is subject for discussion”.
He said Gambia’s laws would not be amended because the EU wanted that to happen stressing that Gambia is not a colony of the European Union or any international body.
In the document, the EU has expressed its concern over the significant deterioration in the human rights situation in the Gambia in recent months, notably the execution of nine death row inmates, the forced closure of independent radio stations and newspapers, the trial against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists and human rights defenders.
Source African Press Agency
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