The Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure has rubbished a report issued by the United States government claiming corruption and human rights violations occur in The Gambia with impunity. Reacting to a report carried by The Standard newspaper on Monday, Sheriff Bojang stated: “Every year they issue these reports condemning countries around the world for alleged human rights abuses. It is very rich for the United States to preach to The Gambia about human rights issues and violence against women.As a reply, there is nothing more apt than the biblical quotation: ‘You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Mathew 7.5’.
“It is true that every state has its incidental vulgarities and challenges and The Gambia is not an exception.But this blanket indictment by the self-appointed policeman of the world is inaccurate, grossly misleading and blatantly false.The United States is guilty by a hundred if not a thousand times of the litany of the very things they are accusing The Gambia of perpetrating. And not just in the United States but throughout the world wherever they have influence and sway.
“Apart from the historical genocidal crimes of slavery and colonialism, US agents and their proxies have violently overthrown democratically elected governments, stoked civil wars, waged wars of aggression against sovereign states resulting in the death of millions of innocent, men, women and children with impunity. Not to talk about the infliction of the most horrendous forms of torturein their prisons including Guantanamo Bay.The US has systemically been abusing its status as a hegemon to commit the worst crimes with utter impunity and it therefore has no moral right to preach to any country about human rights.
“The Gambia has achieved significant progress in legal due process, press freedom and trafficking in persons. The US report accuses The Gambia Government of interference in the practice of religion.Nothing is farther from the truth than that. The Gambia is universally hailed as a haven for religious tolerance and freedom.On the allegation of violence against women and children, we all know that The Gambia Government under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency, the President, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, Babili Mansa, has empowered women and the girl-child more than any leader in the world.The president has used every opportunity to praise Gambian women and underscore the very high premium he puts on improving their welfare and their well-being.”
On The Gambia Government’s hard-line stance against homosexuality, Minister Bojang said: “Homosexuality like bestiality is against everything we the Gambian people stand for.It is against the nature and against our culture and religion. We are a God-believing people as Muslims and Christians and such acts of depravity are condemned in the strongest terms by our Creator. Therefore, no amount of coercion will change our stance with regard to this issue.”
The former veteran journalist said the US human rights report was meant to score political points and was wide off the mark with regard to the realities in The Gambia.