in the Gambia. Within hours it became clear that it was an armed insurrection by former members of the Armed Forces and the conflict was contained within the environs of the state house. One expected that there would be no arrest of civilians or purging of the security forces. It was expected that to contain the crisis the government would treat the development as a mere incident and would in fact open up for more dialogue on the way forward for the country. Reports of arrests of the mothers and fathers of some suspects do not contribute to the defusing of the uncertainty predicating the 30th December event. Collective punishment is a Stone Age notion of justice where families settle scores when any member is a victim of abuse. No one should be subjected to arrest who is not suspected of having committed a crime. We therefore hope that all those who are arrested just because of blood ties would be immediately released. ]]>