‘Fear rules: life imprisonment for wearing a t-shirt’  The Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Gambia

Date: Wednesday 12 June 2013

Time: 18.00

Location: Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA.

The human rights situation in Gambia, already poor, has deteriorated markedly in recent years. In August 2012, for the first time in nearly 30 years, the death penalty was carried out, as nine death row inmates were executed without prior notification. Government opponents and human rights defenders face arbitrary arrest, torture and detention. The judiciary lack independence and government opponents are continuously prosecuted in a system devoid of free and fair trial. The President has repeatedly issued vitriolic homophobic statements and threatened to "cut off the head" of any LGBT person found in the country. As a result of the human rights situation, significant numbers of Gambians seek asylum in the UK every year.
The aim of the seminar is to raise awareness as to the human rights situation in Gambia and the experiences of Gambian nationals seeking international protection in the UK. The event will be followed by a reception. 


Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh Founder member and Coordinator of the ‘Coalition for Change – The Gambia’ (CCG) and previously served as Gambia’s Minister of Information and Communications. Dr Janneh was arrested in June 2011 and sentenced to life imprisonment for distributing t-shirts that featured the slogan “End to Dictatorship Now”. He was released in September 2012.  

Ndey Tapha Sosseh Secretary General of Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG) and also a founder member and Secretary General of CCG. Mr Ndey Tapha was also charged with treason in 2011, relating to the distribution of t-shirts by CCG and charged in absentia. 

Ben Cooper Ben Cooper is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and specialises in extradition law. He was last year honoured by Liberty as Lawyer of the Year. In 2012, Ben acted in the first recorded extradition case concerning Gambia. Due to overwhelming concerns as to the human rights situation in the country, Ben’s client was discharged on Article 2 grounds due to the risk to his life in Gambia, as well as in respect of Articles 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Paul Dillane Amnesty International UK’s Refugee Researcher and responsible for the organisation’s involvement in refugee litigation in the UK. 

Chaired by:  

Kirsty Brimelow QC BHRC Chairwoman. Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers.

The event is free of charge.

Please RSVP directly to paul.dillane@amnesty.org.uk

Credited with 2 CPD 

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