241/01 : Purohit and Moore / Gambia (The) Summary of Facts 1. The Complainants are mental health advocates, submitting the communication on behalf of patients detained at Campama, a Psychiatric Unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital, and existing and ‘future’ mental health patients detained under the Mental Health Acts of the Republic of The Gambia. th 2. The complaint was sent by fax and received at the Secretariat on 7 March 2001. 3. The Complainants allege that legislation governing mental health in The Gambia is outdated. 4. It is alleged that within the Lunatics Detention Act [LDA], the principle instrument governing mental health) there is no definition of who a lunatic is, and that there are no provisions and requirements establishing safeguards during the diagnosis, certification and detention of the patient. 5. Further, the Complainants allege that there is overcrowding in the psychiatric unit, no requirement of consent to treatment or subsequent review of continued treatment. 6. The Complainants also state that there is no independent examination of administration, management and living conditions within the unit itself. 7. The Complainants also complain that patients detained in the psychiatric unit are not even allowed to vote. 8. The Complainants notify the African Commission that there is no provision for legal aid and the Act does not make provision for a patient to seek compensation if his/her rights have been violated. Complaint 9. The Complainants allege a violation of Articles 2, 3, 5, 7(1)(a) and 7(1)(c), 13(1), 16 and 18(4) of the African Charter. Procedure 10. Ms H. Purohit and Mr P. Moore presented the communication and it was received at the th Secretariat on the 7 March 2001. th 11. On 14 March 2001, the Secretariat wrote to the Complainants requesting that they furnish the names of the persons on whose behalf they were acting. th 12. On the 4 April 2001, the Secretariat received the names of the persons on whose behalf Purohit and Moore were acting and it was stated clearly that those persons wished to remain anonymous. th rd th 13. At its 29 Ordinary Session from 23 April to 7 May 2001 in Tripoli, Libya, the African Commission examined the complaint and decided to be seized of it. rd 14. On 23 May 2001, the Secretariat conveyed the above decision to the parties and requested parties to furnish it with additional information on admissibility in accordance with Article 56 of the African Charter and forwarded a copy of the text of the complaint to the Respondent State. The Parties were requested to present their written submissions to the Secretariat within three months of notification of the decision. th th th 15. During the 30 Ordinary Session held from 13 to 27 October 2001 in Banjul, The Gambia, the African Commission considered the complaint and the rapporteur of the communication addressed questions to the Representative of the Respondent State. The Representative stated that she was not in a position to provide satisfactory responses to the questions posed at the time but promised to do th so soon after the 30 Session. The African Commission decided to defer consideration of this st communication to the 31 Ordinary Session pending receipt of the Respondent State’s submissions. th 16. On 9 November 2001, the Secretariat wrote to the Complainants informing them of the decision st taken by the African Commission at its 31 Session and also forwarded them copies of the th Respondent State’s submissions that were received at the Secretariat on 11 October 2001. The Complainants were also reminded to forward exhaustive submissions on the question of admissibility of the complaint within two (2) months.