Africa should take protection of human rights seriously

Gambian Attorney General and Minister of Justice Edward Gomes has implored African governments to take the promotion and protection of human and people’s rights on the continent seriously.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 50th Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights [the African Commission] in The Gambian capital, Banjul, on 24 October 2011, Gomez emphasised that violations of human rights are closely linked to situations of war.

He said there should therefore be increased efforts towards reconciliation, peace ,tolerance and democracy.

“Any system of government which not only denies but makes the protection of human rights impossible, is clearly inviting a situation in which the use of violence is inevitable,” said Gomez citing the political upheavals that in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria.

He also acknowledged the important role that the legal fraternity and human rights defenders play in the fight for the protection and promotion of human rights, saying:

“There is need for a courageous, vigilant and outspoken legal fraternity and defenders in many parts of the continent, that is to say, people who are not afraid to speak out against human rights abuses in order to protect the weak and the vulnerable.”

Gomez officially opened the 50th Session of the African Commission, which ends on 7 November 2011 at the Sheraton Resort and Spa, in Banjul.

Post published in: Politics

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