Opposition battered ahead of Gambia poll

gambia-pollFrom MOMODOU DIBBA in Banjul, Gambia
BANJUL, (CAJ News) – GOVERNMENT’S repression of the political opposition is threatening the fairness of Gambia’s general elections scheduled for December.

Ahead of the poll, the government of President Yahya Jammeh has threatened, beaten, arbitrarily arrested, jailed and tortured opposition party members for exercising their basic rights.

The April death in custody of an opposition activist, Solo Sandeng, presaged a crackdown on the opposition, principally targeting Gambia’s largest opposition party, the United Democratic Party.

Sandeng was arrested leading a demonstration in favor of electoral reform and taken to the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency where he was brutally beaten to death.

The government broke up two further demonstrations in April and May, arresting dozens of protesters, one of whom later died in custody.

Since April, more than 90 opposition activists have been arrested for participating in protests, with 30 sentenced to three-year prison terms.

Babatunde Olugboji, deputy programme director at Human Rights Watch, said Jammeh’s government had extinguished hopes of a credible election.

Unless this situation improves, Gambia’s international donors should impose targeted sanctions on senior officials implicated in abuses.”

Jameh came to power after a coup in 1994 and ruled the tiny West African country of 2 million people with an iron fist.
CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=16242

Posted by on Nov 3 2016. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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