US Department of State Human Rights Report: Gambia 2012

"The law provides for the presumption of innocence, a fair and public trial without undue delay, and adequate time and facilities to prepare defense. Under the law no one is compelled to testify or confess guilt. Trials were generally open to the public, unless closed-court sessions were necessary to protect the identity of a witness. In one instance, NIA officials denied accredited diplomats entrance to the final session of the Supreme Court appeal hearing regarding seven former government officials sentenced to death for treason (see section 1.e.). Juries were not used. Defendants can consult an attorney and have the right to confront witnesses and evidence against them, present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf, and appeal judgment to a higher court. The law extends these rights to all citizens, and no persons were denied these rights during the year; however, detainees were rarely informed of their rights or the reasons for their arrest or detention, according to Amnesty International. For example, outspoken Muslim cleric Imam Bakawsu Fofana, who was arrested on May 31 and held for nine days without charge, was never informed of the reason he was detained."
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