Opposition activist killed in Gambia

18 Aprile 2016.

Amnesty International has called
for the unconditional release of all protesters and for those injured
to be given medical attention

Protesters were
unarmed, did not resist arrest

Police in The Gambia have beaten to
death a prominent opposition member after leading a peaceful protest
in the West African nation calling for electoral reform and the
resignation of its military strongman, President Yahya Jammeh to

Solo Sandeng, the organizing
secretary of the United Democratic Party

was arrested with at least two dozen other protesters who were
chanting anti-government slogans and placards by the country’s
police intervention unit. 

Eye witnesses said the protesters were
unarmed and did not resist
but the police
used force against them. 

Security sources and rights groups reported
that Mr Sandeng has been
tortured to death and two others are seriously injured
and in a
coma in detention.

“The tragic death in detention of
Solo Sandeng must leave no space for impunity. 

The authorities must
conduct an immediate, thorough and independent investigation,”
said Sabrina Mahtani of Amnesty International in a statement.

Rights groups call for
unconditional release of protesters

Amnesty has called for The Gambia to
“uphold the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,
especially in advance of the elections,”
and called for the
authorities to release the protesters and provide immediate medical
attention to those injured.

The United Democratic Party has filed
a complaint at the Supreme Court over electoral irregularities
including the illegality of Mr Mustapha Carayol being chairperson of
the country’s electoral commission. 

Shortly after, President
Yahya Jammeh replaced Mr Carayol

with an APRC stalwart, Mr Alieu M Njie, whose
integrity the UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe said he won’t question.

Darboe and other UDP executive members
are now demanding to see Mr Sandeng, dead or alive.
President Yahya Jammeh came to came to
power in a
military coup
in 1994
and has since
ruled the impoverished West African nation with an iron fist. 

He is
notorious for making eccentric statements threatening to behead gays
and lesbians and that he can cure HIV/AIDS. He has vowed to remain in
power “for a billion years” and swore that anyone who wants to
replace him as president “must be willing to risk his life.”