President-Elect Barrow pushing for the release of Darboe, political activists

President-Elect Barrow pushing for the release of Darboe, political activists

Gambia’s president-elect said he is in contact with the government to secure the early release of jailed opposition leader Ousainou Darboe with at least 50 other supporters, who took part in rare protests.

Security forces from the police intervention unit opened fire on protesters, beat and kicked them in April and May before arresting them.

The UN said a senior opposition member, the UDP’s organizing secretary, Solo Sandeng was among those arrested and died of torture wounds in custody. Another opposition member was denied medical care and later died.

Dr. Isatou Touray said the coalition was in touch with the UN to assert further pressure for the release of political prisoners.

Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh, who shocked the world by conceding defeat on Friday, said he was not going to pardon the opposition detainees “because they broke the law,” for taking part in an “unauthorized protest.”

A judge sentenced Darboe and two dozen others to three years in prison, including a U.S. citizen Fanta Darboe.

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