Lawyers for the United Democratic Party have requested a postmortem to be conducted on Ebrima Solo Kurumah with a coroner’s report presented and for the state to release his body to his family, according to party officials.
His party is blaming President Yahya Jammeh’s regime for the death. The party said the circumstances surrounding his medical condition leading to his admission and the subsequent decision to conduct a surgery on Kurumah is unknown to them and to his family. They were repeatedly denied access to Kurumah and have not been formally notified of his death.
An activist lawyer, Assan Martin, has called for an independent investigation, saying the president “must be held responsible of the death of UDP supporters.”
Many other supporters of the party currently detained as said to be in need of urgent medical care after being tortured including Lamin Dibba, who sustained a serious eye injury during his arrest by the riot police.
Kurumah, the Deputy Chair for the Opposition UDP in Sandu Darsilameh is the country’s Upper River Region died after a surgery at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul and is part of dozens of opposition protesters who were protesting for greater freedoms in mainland Africa’s smallest country and given a three year jail time for his participation.
In April, the death of the UDP Organizing Secretary Ebrima Solo Sandeng and torture of a handful of electoral reform protesters sparked anger prompting party leader Ousainou Darboe, his executive and others to stage a peaceful protest demanding the release of especially Sandeng, ‘dead or alive.’
They were rounded up by the riot police, who shot live rounds at them, kicked and beat them. They were put on trial, which lawyers said the rights of the accused were not upheld and boycotted trials. Darboe and the other accused persons, including an American citizen refused to participate in the trial. They were sentenced by the court presided over by Justice Eunice Dada and sentenced to three years in prison. Dada has been accused by Gambians of being a mercenary judge.