- The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has backed out on attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled next week in Port of Spain, a government statement has said.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry late Wednesday, President Jammeh indicated he will not be attending the three day event. The Gambian delegation to the CHOGM will be led by Gambian Foreign Affairs Minister Ousman Jammeh.
Reports said human rights groups had called on CHOGM to ban President Jammeh from attending the meeting, following his statement last September, threatening to kill persons affiliated with human rights groups in his country.
The Commonwealth and local human rights groups maintain the Gambian leader’s violent declaration should not be condoned.
Earlier this week, the Caribbean Human Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) and the India-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) opposed President Jammeh’s invitation to the Commonwealth heads of state summit for the statements he made on Gambian television.
President Jammeh is also well known for his uncompromisingly and intolerant attitude towards freedom of the press.
President Jammeh, the former military lieutenant who in 1994 overthrew a democratically elected government, became a worldwide recognised witch hunter, terrorising innocent people, many of whom were old and feeble.
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