Mai Fatty disagrees with government’s legal justification on arrest of anti-gov’t protesters

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Leader of Gambia Moral Congress has disagreed with the government in what he called its political justification on the legal pretext that is so far being presented on the case of the members the 3 Years Jotna pressure group.

At a press conference convened by the party on Thursday, Ahmed Mai Fatty condemned what he called the ‘violence’ against the victims of the group that has been asking President Adama Barrow to step down.

On Sunday, members of the pressure group clashed with police in an anti-government protest to amplify their call for the president to respect the three years mandate agreement he had with the Coalition 2016 political leaders and step down for another election.

Fatty, who was President Barrow’s first interior Minister said there are two movements in the country -3 years Jotna and the 5 years for peace and development- saying there should be justice between those two groups because they should be treated equally under the law.

Mr Fatty told journalists that the new Gambia was a nation of ballot, and not bullet.

He said the majority of Gambians believe that the next two years will be worse, saying a lot was expected from President Adama Barrow, because they defended him and asked Gambians to give him a chance.

The seasoned lawyer said it is unfortunate what is happening in the country after all what they risked for to usher a new Gambia.

He repeated his call for the withdrawal of the harassment on the leaders of the 3 years Jotna, eight of whom are now facing a three count-charges levelled against them by the Police.

More than a hundred people were arrested in the Sunday protest, including four journalists who were released on Tuesday.

Two radio stations that the government claim were reporting the protest in a manner that suggest to inciting violence  are still shutdown with paramilitary personnel stationed there.

Mr Fatty also urged President Barrow to engage all stakeholders, particularly party leaders of the former coalition in a national dialogue, to be facilitated by the ECOWAS, African Union and the UNOWAS without any delay.

He called on the government to withdraw charges against the members of the group and release them without any delay, saying that is posing a fundamental threat to the county’s democracy.

According to him, there is lot of emergencies happening in the country, including on the economy, tourism, and the private sector and the government has lost the momentum built following the 2016 coalition victory.

He also urged the government to review the decision on the closure of the radio stations without any delay.

Story written by Isatou Tamba

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