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Anna Jones

Anna Jones

HRD, National Coordinator

We are going to hold the new government accountable, we are not going to wait until when we can’t openly express ourselves any more

Anna Jones is the National Network Coordinator for WANEP (West African Network For Peacebuilding) in the Gambia. The organisation, founded in 2003, works to strengthen democracy, prevent conflict, and increase youth and women’s participation in peacebuilding and decision-making.

During the recent presidential elections, in December 2016, Anna and her organisation played a crucial role. WANEP deployed around 150 people to observe the electoral process, and their presence helped validate the results of the elections. WANEP also organises trainings for and capacity-building sessions for women, to build their confidence and support those who want to run for public office. 

The Gambia

Human rights defenders (HRDs) in The Gambia operate in a widespread climate of fear, suspicion and self-censorship. Freedom of expression is gravely limited and human rights defenders and journalists critical of the government are under threat. NGOs operate in a restrictive environment, are subjected to strict monitoring by the authorities and pushed to act on issues in accordance with the government's agenda. Of further concern is the issue of the independence of the judiciary (or lack thereof): the State has taken action to have full control over it, as illustrated by several cases of fabricated charges and trials against HRDs.