President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia said he will not be pardoning opposition activists that were sent to prison in July, saying they broke the law.
Jammeh, who is seeking a fifth term in office said opposition activists who took to the streets in April and May demanding electoral reform, the release of a tortured activist who died in custody and for his resignation were a threat to the peace and security of the West African nation.
Jammeh has vowed not to “leave the country to be destroyed by less than 1% of the people who are sponsored by the West to use violence to destabilize The Gambia.”
Gambian security forces used live rounds and teargas to disperse protesters. Activists were beaten with batons, kicked and slapped as police threw them into the back of waiting for trucks. The international community has condemned The Gambia’s handling of the situation and called for the release of the activists.
The Gambia has denied repeated requests from the African Union Rights Commission and UN Rights Commission for fact-finding missions after reports that opposition detainees were denied medical care leading to the death of one.