Systematic repression of dissident voices and the attacks on civic space have heightened in Gambia since the failed coup d’Etat of December 2014, according to a human rights monitoring group.
Article 19 made this statement before the ongoing 56th ordinary session of African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), which is being held in Banjul from April 21 through May 7, 2015.
Evidence gathered by the right group indicates that since this event, more than 30 people linked with the attackers of the Presidential Palace have been arrested and detained in secret locations without access to their families and lawyers. A good number of women and a child of 13 are cited to be amongst the people arrested.
“No charges have been brought against them, and relatives who have requested
information about their whereabouts have been threatened,” said Article 19.
Article 19 condemned latest spates of decisions taken by Gambia government to continue to illegally tap telephones of family members of those linked with the coup amid house-to-house searches that are being conducted, forcing many into exile for fear of indiscriminate reprisals.
As the Jammeh regime has already tried and sentenced to death three coupists, Article 19 called for a retrial that will “ensure that those accused” for the December power grab “receive a fair trial in accordance with standards recognized” by the African Commission.
In an attempt to warn on defiant stance, Article 19 called on Gambia government to “return to families the bodies of those killed in December 2014 and to provide information to families on the graves of those executed in 2012.”