The Gambia

Letter from a young girl asking for Equality Now's help so that she won't be subjected to FGM (Evening Standard)

3/5/2013 -- Evening Standard -- "Please help… I don’t want to be cut like my sister when we go back to Africa"; Equality Now received a letter from a young girl, telling how her 12-year-old sister was subjected to FGM by aunts at her grandmother’s home in Gambia. She doesn't want the same thing to happen to her.

Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho vindicated: Renewed focus on FGM in The Gambia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13 November 2012
Contact: Brendan Wynne, Media Officer, London
+ 44 (0)20-7304 6902
bwynne@equalitynow.org

Dr. Isatou Touray

Risking Everything to End Harmful Traditional Practices in The Gambia
Isatou Touray

1. What kinds of changes have you seen in the practice of FGM in The Gambia in your years of working on this issue? Is it declining?

The Gambia: Call on the Government of The Gambia to ensure a fair trial for anti-FGM activists, Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho.

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Oct 18
Update Date: 
2010 Oct 20
Update: 

UPDATE, 20 October 2010: Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho released on bail

Prominent Gambian anti-FGM activists, Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho were released on bail on October 20, 2010. Equality Now continues to advocate for their right to a fair trial and will continue to monitor the case. Please keep up the pressure by calling on The Gambian authorities to safeguard their right to a fair trial.

URGENT ALERT: THE GAMBIA
18 October 2010

Call on the Government of The Gambia to release immediately on bail women’s rights activists, Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho

What You Can Do: 

Please join Equality Now and call on the Gambian government to immediately release on bail Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho. Also urge the Gambian government to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) through the enactment of a law and other preventive and protective mechanisms in accordance with its national and international obligations. Send letters to:

His Excellency Yahya Jammeh
Office of the President
State House
Banjul
The Gambia
Email: saidy.momodou@yahoo.com
Fax: +220 420 1936

Minister of the Interior and NGO Affairs
Ousman Sonko
21 OAU Boulevard
Banjul
The Gambia
Email: oussonko@yahoo.com

Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy
Vice-President
State House
Banjul
The Gambia
Fax: +220 422 4012

Letters: 

[Dear Excellency/Minister]:

I am writing to you about the arrest, detention and denial of bail of Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho of The Gambia Committee Against Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP). I understand that they have been allegedly charged with misappropriation of funds despite their having been cleared by an initial investigation and denied bail when they had a right to get bail.  The government of The Gambia is bound by regional and international instruments that provide the granting of bail where bail conditions are fulfilled. Article 9 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that any persons awaiting trial must be granted bail.  In addition, Section 19 of the Gambian Constitution confirms bail as a constitutional right.

I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho upon bail. Your government must ensure that these women are guaranteed their right to a free and fair trial in an independent and impartial court; security and dignity of person, and freedom from unlawful detention as guaranteed in Articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and Article 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Gambia. I also urge that if they are not tried within a reasonable time, they be released unconditionally without prejudice to any further proceedings which may be brought against them.

Further in keeping with its regional and national obligations, the Gambian government must protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) through the enactment of a law and other preventive and protective mechanisms. The Gambia has ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa which, in Article 5(b), requires States Parties to prohibit FGM through legislative measures backed by sanctions. In addition, it has ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which, in Section 21, requires States Parties to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices and in particular those “prejudicial to the health or life of the child.”  The Gambia is also a party to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which both call for member states to take measures to protect girls, including from harmful cultural practices.

Please take immediate steps to enact and enforce anti-FGM legislation and to support the work of groups such as GAMCOTRAP that are working to end this practice.

Respectfully yours

 

The Gambia: Government Rescinds Censorship Policy on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Action Number: 
13.2
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1997 Dec 1

 

  The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices

P.O. Box 2990, Serrekunda, The Gambia    

6 November 1997.

The Gambia: Government Censorship of the Campaign to Stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Action Number: 
13.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1997 Jul 1

On 17 May 1997, the Gambia Telecommunications (GAMTEL) Director of Broadcasting Services announced a new policy on media treatment of the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) as follows:

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Managing Director of GAMTEL. Note the harmful effects of FGM and urge him to rescind the directive barring use of Radio Gambia and Gambia Television to combat the practice. Please also write to the President of The Gambia. Urge him to intervene and take immediate action to ensure that broadcast media can be used to inform the public about the harmful effects of FGM and to promote its eradication. Note that The Gambia has an obligation under international law to take measures to eliminate harmful practices against children. Recall the recent WHO initiative against FGM and note the inconsistency of the GAMTEL policy with this important collective African effort, in which The Gambia played a leading role. Appeals can also be addressed to the Gambian Ambassador to your country.

President Yaya A.J.J. Jammeh
President of the Republic of The Gambia
Banjul, The Gambia
Telex: 2240

Mr. Bakary Njie
Managing Director of GAMTEL
Banjul, The Gambia
Fax: 220-226699

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