France asks Gambia to fully respect freedoms, rights

France asks Gambia to fully respect freedoms, rights

The French government has asked Gambian authorities to fully respect the rights of its people, freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and release all political prisoners in keeping up with the West African nation’s international commitments following the killings and recent crackdowns on political opposition members.

France said on Wednesday said that allegations of torture are particularly troubling and called for an independent investigation into the circumstances of the death of two opposition detainees.

This is the second death in state custody of opposition detainees who took part in protests in April and May within a four month period.

The United States on Tuesday expressed ‘deep concern’ about the death of Solo Krummah and urged the government of The Gambia to cease its sustained crackdown on political opposition members and supporters, and to respect the rights of all citizens to freedoms of expression and association without fear of retribution.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also deplored the reported death in custody of Solo Kurumah and Solo Sandeng and urged Gambian authorities to investigate their deaths as well as allegations that detainees are denied access to medical care.

President Jammeh in June lashed out at the international community, particularly to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for demanding the death of Solo Sandeng to be investigated. Jammeh said Sandeng was not the only person to have died in custody during interrogations and refused repeated calls to prosecute those responsible for his torture-death.

In April, The Gambia has warned foreign nations and the international community to stir away from its domestic and political matters.

The Gambia has lost more than 30 million Euros in funding from the European Union and suspended from the U.S. AGOA trade deal due to deploring rights conditions.

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