Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Rights group Amnesty International Acting Deputy Regional Director for West Africa Marta Colomer said here Monday that Sunday’s crackdown on protesters had a potential of re-visiting The Gambia’s brutal past.
Colomer’s recent reaction came following last Sunday’s 3 Yrs Jotna movement protest which resulted in violence, as 137 people were reported to be in police custody and others hospitalized.
She said the government of The Gambia had in the past improved on its human rights records since the advent of the new found democracy, noting that the use of force by the security forces to disperse protesters risked fuelling tension and steering Gambia back to the dark days of repression.
“There have been some improvement in the country’s human rights record since President Barrow came to power, but the use of force by security forces to disperse protesters can risk fuelling tension and putting the nation back to its days of oppression.
“No one should face arrest simply for exercising their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all those detained for exercising their rights and also reopen the closed radio station,” she said.
She then reminded the president not to forget his promise of improving the country’s human rights records and freedom of expression.
“The government must ensure that the media is free to do their work without fear of reprisal. Journalists should not be jailed or detained simply for practicing their legal profession,” she said.
-0- PANA MSS/A 27Jan2020