State sponsored violence against protesters has escalated once again in Gambia as police in riot gear attacked citizens gathering to demonstrate against unfair treatment of opposition members in state custody. On Monday, protesters gathered outside the High Court in the capital Banjul as opposition leader Ousainou Darboe appeared for a court ruling.
Mr. Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) is on trial for his involvement in a protest held in April. He was arrested alongside 38 other opposition members, who have all been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony.
Protesters had trumped up charges filed against them for unlawful assembly, rioting, and inciting violence while peacefully protesting for political reforms and justice for the death of UDP official Solo Sandeng, who died in police custody. The accused pleaded not guilty and were denied bail on Thursday.
It was reported that over 50 opposition supporters who attended the protest were also arrested, as the protesters did not obtain permission to demonstrate.
A video posted by a Gambian diaspora news organization, The Fatou Network, from today’s demonstration show the abuse by state authorities against citizens gathering peacefully.
Upon learning about the violence targeting peaceful demonstrations, Samsudeen Sarr, the Gambia’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, was recorded saying that “if I were there and I were in charge I would fucking open fire to anybody.”
Mr. Sarr added that anyone attending the peaceful rally should have known they should lose their lives in it.
Jeff Smith, a human rights consultant, told Sahara Reporters that Mr. Sarr’s comments are “emblematic of the wholly sadistic nature of the Jammeh regime. Ambassador Sarr is not some rogue element. In fact, he represents a thoroughly rotten government that is seemingly intent on beating, torturing and killing its own citizens as opposed to listening to their valid concerns regarding the lack of political rights and basic civil liberties in The Gambia.”
Mr. Smith added, “These comments are reprehensible, though sadly not surprising, given the Jammeh regime’s horrendous track record of abuse over the past two decades.”
Responding to the day’s incidents, Mariam Secka, the deputy secretary general of the UDP, called on the international community to intervene on behalf of the arrested party members and activists.
“I would like for the international community to assist us as soon as possible because there is no justice in this country,” she said.
Ms. Secka expressed concern that Mr. Darboe will remain in custody until the December elections have concluded. President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the small West African country since 1994, will be seeking to extend his tenure.
Mr. Jammeh has been regularly criticized for violating human rights and suppressing journalists, activists, and protesters.
Courtesy of www.latestinfonews.com
Let all Gambians of conscience, stand together & fight for a country that ISN’T predatory, oppressive & violent towards (citizenry & fellow) human beings…..UDP indeed have better desires for Gambia; manifested & proven their worth; standing up to our MURDEROUS kanilai DEVIL & MURDEROUS enablers…..
The so-called police permit applications for political meetings, AREN’T prerequisites for exercising our Constitutional Rights to freedom of speech & expression; on issues of collective communal interests & concerns; which as Gambians, we all have UNDENIABLE opinions (to), as collective (citizenry) stakeholders……
MURDEROUS yaya jammeh & its enablers are engaged in full-blown fight already; but as anywhere before, let them not underestimate the resolve of determined Gambians; ready to salvage reclaim our motherland; from claws of PREDATORY CALLUS BANDITRY; based on corruption, lies, torture & murder; as in all places before; between good & truth (God), against evil, falsehood & PREDATORY DEVILISH-kanilai-SATAN; EVENTUALLY; the oppressed defenseless masses, emerged victorious in the end…..
The Banjul supreme court, where the defendant lawyers referred for clarification, MUST pronounce the Constitutional (UNDENIABLE) rights (of people) for demonstrating peacefully; as enshrined in the statutes books…..
Freedom is never won on silver plate; every Struggle for freedom have prices, which we have started paying for, since July 1994; we must embrace each other now & finish off the fight; or live to continue fighting on, whereby paying more dire (costlier) prices; until total liberation; WITHOUT ANY OTHER choice…..
Sam Sarr should be removed from UN . He is not representing the interest of Gambian people . Sam Sarr should know that Gambian people will continue to fight for freedom and democracy . Sam is a coward who ran away from Jammeh and came to USA where he was granted political asylum . Now he is calling for the killing of peaceful protesters . Sam must be send back to The Gambia where he belong but not UN .
Samsudeen Sarr is a coward, a nonentity and no one takes him seriously. Remember this is the same incompetent coward who “accidentally” shot himself in the foot rather than participate in a peace keeping mission to Liberia.
All the noise he is making is to get recognition from monster Jammeh in the hope of getting elevated to head of the Gambia UN mission.
Here is a piece of unsolicited advice for Samsudeen Sarr why don’t you go ahead and shoot yourself in the other foot.