THE GAMBIA WAVE OF PROTESTS HITS NORWAY
By Landing Nyassi
The wave of protest to show solidarity with victims of the recent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Gambia has reached the shores of Scandinavia where the waves finally hit the city of Oslo yesterday evening Friday 29th April at 4:30pm. After attending the normal Friday prayers and listening to a strong sermon from an eloquent Imam who touched on holding fast to the truth in this world come what may, concerned Gambians and friends of the Gambia marched out to the Younstorget open Plaza Downtown Oslo to protest against recent happenings in the Gambia.
Despite the short notice given , attendance was unprecedented. Previous protests on Gambia in Oslo hardly attracts a dozen participants but this time around the turnout was impressive. This shows the fear factor both in the Gambia and abroad is being gradually hack to pieces. Before the event started the crowd sang revolutionary slogans depicting the appalling human rights situation in the Gambia. “Na dem” “na dem” meaning «let him go» «let him go» freedom for Gambia, down to dictatorship the crowd chanted.
After warming up with revolutionary chants the event proper started with the singing of the national anthem of the Gambia. After the roaring national anthem a host of speakers took to the podium and each and everyone of them lamented on the pressing need to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Gambia. There was a representative from the Norwegian Council for Africa who spoke at the event. He echoed concerns of the UN repertoire on torture on the human rights situation in the Gambia. He buttressed that the regime in Gambia should release all the detained peaceful protesters and drop all charges leveled against members of the opposition party UDP.
Prior to the gathering on Friday a delegation of the Oslo-Gambian affairs had a Meeting With the Norwegian Foreign affairs Department in which the Gambian delegation was given an opportunity to address the Foreign Department on the human rights situation and issues of concern in the Gambia. The Meeting took Place on Thursday 28th April . The delegation brought the following Points to the attention of the Foreign Department;
- Enhance efforts through the EU and other bodies to impose and strengthen a travel ban on Jammeh and his henchmen
- More pressure to facilitate access for the UN Special Rapporteur to investigate human rights violations in The Gambia.
- To closely follow Jammeh’s close collaboration with Turkey. Turkey is being gradually embraced by the EU and we tried to highlight the contradiction of a possible EU member state enhancing a dictatorial regime.
- Political asylum for Gambian dissidents in Senegal who had fled the country and urgently in need of protection.
The foreign department expressed gratitude for the visit and stressed the Norwegian government’s commitment to human rights, which they ensure is high on the agenda in international fora. They also mentioned that the Norwegian ambassador in Ghana is accredited to Gambia and that the ambassador while presenting his credentials to Jammeh, discussed both democracy and human rights. The embassy sends updates, but that they will appreciate more updates on the developments in The Gambia. The delegation promised to be sending more information.
The Foreign Department has promised to send an official response to address the issued raised by the Oslo-Gambian affairs delegation.
The nose is tightening for the rogue regime in Gambia. The Oslo-Gambian affairs has planned to take part in the1st May procession in Oslo to further expose the deplorable human rights situation in the Gambia. The procession will begin at 11:30 am on Sunday 1st May at Youngstorget downtown Oslo.
Written by Landing Nyassi, Oslo