Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 162nd session (Windhoek, 11 April 1998)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/162/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 161st session (September 1997) concerning the case of Mr. Omar Jallow, of the Gambia,

Noting that the authorities have failed to reply to the request for information made in the decision adopted by the Committee on this case at its 80th session (January 1998),

Taking account of information provided by one of the sources on 10 March 1998,

Recalling that Mr. Jallow, a member of the House of Representatives dissolved in 1994 and former Foreign Minister, was arrested in October 1995 and held without charge until November 1996, when he was released; that his passport was confiscated at the time and that he was banned from political activity for a period of five years, any breach of the ban reportedly punishable by a fine of 1 million dalasis or life imprisonment,

Recalling that the " Commission of Inquiry into the Assets, Properties, Activities and other Related Matters of Public Officers and the Privatisation Program of Government " (Public Assets Recovery Commission) established by the " Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council " (AFPRC) to investigate charges of wrongdoing by public office-holders prior to the military takeover of 22 July 1994, reportedly found him not guilty of any wrongdoing and that it arrived at that decision over 18 months ago; that, in a communication of 25 February 1997, it informed the Inspector General of Police that it had no objection to Mr. Jallow's being returned all property " following Government's acceptance of the Recommendation of the Public Assets Recovery Commission ",

Considering that, despite the reported clearance from the Public Assets Recovery Commission, Mr. Jallow remains banned from political activity and still may not travel abroad, as according to one of the sources, while he had his passport renewed, he still lacked the requisite clearance (permission) from the President's Office; that, moreover, the authorities have reportedly decided to seize two of his properties without any just legal reason and that his bank account is still frozen,

Bearing in mind that the Gambia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to compensation for anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest and detention and the right to freedom of movement and the right of everyone to have a criminal charge determined by a competent, independent and impartial court in a fair and public hearing,

  1. Regrets that the authorities have failed to reply to the request for information made in the decision adopted on the case by the Committee at its 80th session (January 1998);
  2. Reiterates its wish to receive a copy of the findings and decision of the Public Assets Recovery Commission regarding Mr. Jallow, and would also appreciate information regarding the exact scope and effect of the decisions taken by that Commission;
  3. Remains deeply concerned at the fact that Mr. Jallow has been deprived of his political and civil rights, apparently without any formal legal procedure and on no proper legal basis, and emphasises yet again that, under Article 14 of the ICCPR, a sanction as harsh as the deprivation of political and civil rights can only be handed down in a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law;
  4. Consequently reiterates its wish to ascertain by what body and under what procedure the ban on political activity was imposed on Mr. Jallow and whether he had a right of appeal;
  5. Expresses deep concern that Mr. Jallow still may not travel abroad, and urges the competent authorities forthwith to remove all impediments to the exercise by Mr. Jallow of his right to freedom of movement;
  6. Also wishes to ascertain the legal grounds for the seizure of two properties of Mr. Jallow and the freezing of his bank account;
  7. Reaffirms that under Article 9, paragraph 5, of the ICCPR Mr. Jallow has an enforceable right to compensation for the arbitrary arrest and detention he suffered;
  8. Requests the Secretary General to convey these concerns and considerations to the competent authorities, and to invite them to take the necessary action and supply the requested information;
  9. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1998).

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