West Africa Rights Group ROADDH/WAHRDN Concern about Illegal Jailing of Darboe & Co

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The West African Human Rights Defenders Network (ROADDH / WAHRDN) is deeply concerned by the decision of the High Court of the Republic of Gambia against the leader of the main opposition party, Ousainou DARBOE and his 17 co-defendants who were condemned in July to three years to jail for several charges, including having “illegally demonstrated.”

For reminder, Ousainou DARBOE and his 17 co-defendants were arrested over several days, and charged in connection with the demonstrations of 14 and 16 April 2016 in the Islamic Republic of Gambia. These demonstrations were organized to demand political reforms for the forthcoming presidential election.

Mr. Solo SANDENG, National Secretary of the UDP, detained in the same case, died in detention few days after his arrest.

The United Nations’ General Secretary, Mr Ban KI-MOON, several international and national organizations, and Mr Solo SANDENG’s family had therefore called for an independent investigation for the death of the opponent in vain. Seeing the foregoing, the ROADDH / WAHRDN appeals the Islamic Republic of Gambia to: Release immediately and without any condition Mr Ousainou DARBOE and his fellow prisoners. – Open an independent investigation to the circumstances of the death of Mr. Solo SANDENG and the prosecution of perpetrators by a competent court. – Respect the right to peaceful protest in the Islamic Republic of Gambia, in accordance with the country’s international commitments.

Lomé, 21 July 2016:

Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains/West African Human Rights defenders Network, 14BP :152, Tél : (228) 22 20 12 38 roaddh@gmail.com www.westafricadefenders.org

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