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Gambia: Arrests, media closures as deadline nears

The government of President Yahya Jammeh, defeated in Gambia’s December presidential election, has arbitrarily arrested opposition sympathizers and closed three independent radio stations in the past week, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. Jammeh is required under Gambia’s constitution to cede power to president-elect Adama Barrow by January 19, 2017. Since December 31, intelligence agents have arrested and briefly detained at least six people for wearing or selling t-shirts bearing the logo of the #Gambiahasdecided movement, which has called for Jammeh to respect the election results and step down.

Date:
5 January 2017
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Demonstrations

Gambia: Risk of instability and repression

Following the announcement on state TV on Friday by President Yahya Jammeh that he rejects the results of the 1st December election results and would not tolerate protest, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher said:  “President Jammeh’s rejection of the election results and his statement that he will not tolerate protest risks leading to instability and possible repression.

Date:
10 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Killings and Disappearances

Gambia has ridden itself of Yahya Jammeh - the world must not forget it when the news cycle moves on

Aisha was just two weeks old when her father Momodou was arrested. A long time supporter of Gambia’s largest opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), he was arrested with several other UDP members on 16 April 2016 as they walked down the road with their arms linked in solidarity. They were calling for the release of political prisoners and demanding justice for their colleague Solo Sandeng, who  died after being tortured in state custody following his arrest during a peaceful protest.

Date:
9 December 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Gambia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

After Gambia elections, the climate of fear is disappearing

In April, I met a man named Solo Sandeng in a restaurant in Serekunda, a city close to Gambia’s Atlantic coast. At the time, Sandeng was a leading opposition figure in Gambia and with, eight months to go until presidential elections, he spoke passionately about his desire to fight incumbent President Yahya Jammeh at the December polls. I was deeply impressed by Sandeng’s courage in speaking out for his beliefs, but gravely worried that he was being reckless; Gambia’s security forces are well known for their blunt and brutal approach to handling political opposition.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Unlawful Detention

Gambia: Another 11 peaceful protesters released on bail

Following a decision by the Appeal Court this morning to release on bail a further 11 opposition supporters arrested in Banjul for participating in a peaceful gathering in April, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher said: "The release on bail of these 11 individuals means that all those arrested in April and May’s peaceful protests are now free and able to return home to their families – which is exactly where they should be as they committed no crime.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Unlawful Detention

Gambia: Opposition leader released on bail

Following the release on bail of opposition leader Ousainou Darboe and 18 other peaceful protestors this afternoon by an Appeal Court in Gambia, Sabrina Mahtani Amnesty International’s West Africa Anglophone Researcher said: "The release of Ousainou Darboe and the 18 other peaceful protestors on bail is a big moment for them and their families, and we hope that this positive step indicates that they will be fully acquitted in due course.

Date:
5 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Prisoners of Conscience

Gambia: Championing human rights and justice for all must be a priority

In response to announcement that President Yayah Jammeh has accepted his defeat following the presidential election, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s Researcher for West and Central Africa currently in Gambia said: “For many years the people of Gambia have suffered numerous abuses, including horrific human rights violations and oppression. ” "The last two weeks have shown how much Gambians of all parties value free speech.

Date:
2 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Internet and Social Media

Gambia: Communication blackout shatters illusion of freedom during the election

In response to blocks on the internet and other communications networks in Gambia amid today’s presidential election, Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa said: “This is an unjustified and crude attack on the right to freedom of expression in Gambia, with mobile internet services and text messaging cut off on polling day. ” “Shutting down these communication networks shatters the illusion of freedom that had emerged during the two weeks period of the electoral campaign, when restrictions appeared to have been eased.

Date:
1 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Demonstrations

Gambia: Freedom of expression must not end after votes are counted

Authorities in Gambia must take all appropriate measures to ensure that forthcoming elections – including the period following the results - are held in a climate that is free from violence and which fully respects the right of all people to freely express their views, Amnesty International said today. "The thousands of Gambians who have taken part in rallies for all candidates over the last two weeks is a remarkable sign of how precious the right to freedom of expression is in a country where it has been so rarely permitted,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

Date:
30 November 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Gambia
  • Press Freedom

Gambia: Is Freedom Stirring in Banjul?

“We are ready for change!” These were the words of the taxi driver who picked me up from the airport in Gambia. We had just passed a huge billboard bearing the image of President Yahya Jammeh, and when I asked the driver about his political views I had expected the caution that is typical in Gambia, a country long dominated by fear and repression. This unexpected willingness to speak out was something I encountered again and again in Gambia, where I had come to attend the Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR).

Date:
21 November 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Justice Systems

ICC: States must strengthen, not abandon, only route to justice for millions of victims

Victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations deserve to have their day in court, Amnesty International said as it urged states to work to strengthen, rather than withdraw from, the International Criminal Court (ICC). The call comes on the eve of the 15th Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute – the ICC’s founding treaty – taking place from 16 to 24 November in The Hague, Netherlands.

Date:
15 November 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Gambia
  • Unlawful Detention

African Commission Should Support Rights in Gambia

Opposition Activists Jailed Ahead of Presidential Election “We want you to help us. ” This was the message a Gambian human rights activist delivered to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at a Gambia-focused panel discussion in Banjul, Gambia’s capital, on Friday. The African Commission’s 59th ordinary session, which opened Friday, combines the commission’s usual work monitoring and reporting on human rights violations with events to celebrate the African Year of Human Rights.

Date:
28 October 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • International Justice

Gambia: Withdrawal from ICC a drastic blow to countless victims globally

Following the announcement yesterday by the Gambian Information Minister that Gambia has withdrawn from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa said: “The announcement is a blow to millions of victims around the world, particularly coming as it does on the heels of recent moves by South Africa and Burundi to also withdraw from the ICC”.

Date:
26 October 2016
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Gambia: Opposition in Gambia - The danger of dissent

In December 2016, Gambia will hold presidential elections. The run-up period is likely to be a testing time for human rights since previous experiences have shown that opposition members, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society organizations and voters face a high risk of serious human rights violations if they attempt to express dissenting opinions. This document highlights the case of UDP members that have been subjected to arbitrary detentions, excessive use of force and torture on several occasions, especially during a series of protests in April and May 2016.

Date:
14 September 2016
Author:
Amnesty International
Ref:
AFR 27/4705/2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Unlawful Detention

Gambia: Prison sentences for opposition leaders continues downward spiral for human rights

The conviction of opposition leader Ousainou Darboe and 18 other peaceful protestors highlights the continuing downward spiral for human rights in Gambia, Amnesty International said today. Following a court decision this afternoon, 19 people including the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) have been sentenced to three years imprisonment. They were found guilty on six counts relating to participating in unauthorised protests on 16 April 2016 in the outskirts of the capital Banjul.

Date:
20 July 2016