The killing of Solo Sandeng and his colleagues peaceful protesters is seriously taken by the European Union high-ranking lawmaker who insisted there would be severe consequences for the Gambia government. As a result, the EU may boycott the country’s December 1st general elections.
The bloc had unfinished brouhaha with the Gambia government over gross violations of human rights. Instead of addressing its shortfalls, the Jammeh government decided to launch a smear campaign against the EU, misinforming Gambians that the bloc wanted to impose gay rights on a predominantly Muslim nation.
Already, the EU sounded the bell that it may not observe the Gambia’s election, which has the potential of being everything but free, fair, inclusive and peaceful.
“I highly doubt there will be an European Union Mission to observe the election unless there is a dramatic change in the political situation,” Rt. Hon. David Martin, one of the longest UK serving EU parliament member. “The EU cannot endorse an election which has no prospect of being fair, free, inclusive and peaceful,” said Martin who headed several EU Election Observation Missions to countries in Africa and Middle East.
The former Vice President of European Parliament was responding to the concerns of the Glasgow based Campaign for Human Rights In The Gambia (CHRG-UK), following the killing of peaceful protestors calling for electoral reform in The Gambia and the subsequent arrests of the leader of the United Democratic Party, officials and others.
Mr Martin, a member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, also warned that the death of political activist Solo Sandeng and his colleagues in state custody and the continues human rights abuses committed by the Gambia government against its citizens will have severe consequences for President Jammeh and his government.
“The death of political activists in state custody adds to the long list of human rights abuses committed by the Gambia government against its citizens and such violations have severe consequences. I am concern that these recent arrests are only the beginning of a new repressive campaign against opponents ahead of the December Presidential elections. I support the calls of the United States and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to release the detained prisoners and conduct a through and transparent investigation into the death of Mr Sandeng and his colleagues. The recent crackdown by the Gambia government against opposition figures and human rights activists is a disturbing reversion.”
He pointed out he will seek the support of parliamentary colleagues in the European Parliament from the 28 member states through a parliamentary resolution about the situation in The Gambia.
Alieu Ceesay of the Campaign for Human Rights in The Gambia UK said CHRG will continue to work with European Union in defence of fundamental human rights in The Gambia and thankful to David Martin for his continues support. “The people of the Gambia are been held on their throat by a very vicious dictatorship, president Jammeh and his security forces will be held accountable for the crimes they continue to commit against the Gambian people. These crimes will not go unpunished the long arm of international justice will caught up with those involve and CHRG will continue to push for punitive measures.”