The government of The Gambia wishes to inform the general public that a front page story on the Standard newspaper of Thursday July 13thquoting Honourable Musa Amul Nyassi, Member of Parliament for Foni Kansala, that the former ruling APRC party has been granted police permit to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the July 22nd 1994 coup, is false and a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.
The public is informed that no such permit was issued to Honourable Nyassi, or indeed any other person acting on behalf of the APRC. The Gambia government maintains that the 1994 coup was an illegal act, staged principally, to usurp power and subvert the popular will of the Gambian people who fought through their sweat and blood to establish and nurture a democratic culture for 30 years that became an envy of the whole world.
Memories are still fresh of the brutality that the July 22nd coup brought on Gambians. Families were torn apart; innocent citizens willfully killed; businesses unlawfully closed and so many of The Gambia’s most experienced and finest brains forced to flee the country because of the organized and systematic abuse of their fundamental rights.
Notwithstanding its unwavering position to respect and broaden democratic principles and personal freedoms of citizens, the government of The Gambia maintains that the July 22nd coup still leaves painful reminders of torture, unexplained disappearances, killings and plunder of state resources. This day therefore should not in any way be glorified, hailed or celebrated by any well-meaning Gambian.
Furthermore, the government of The Gambia warns that any public gathering which requires a public address system needs a police permit. It is on record that the Inspector General of Police has not issued any such permit to authorize any individual, political party or any other group to hold festive celebrations of the July 22nd 1994 coup.
The general public is therefore warned to be law abiding and follow due process especially in matters related to public safety and national security and to avoid anything that may endanger national security.
Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure 13th July 2017