Court security officer stand near a member of Gambia's Army force bus at the Supreme Court in Banjul, Gambia December 5, 2016. Picture taken December 5, 2016. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

Gambia: Risk of instability and repression

Amnesty International has warned Gambia risk plunging into violence and further repression by President Yahya Jammeh after he refused to hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow and rejecting the outcomes of the country’s December 1 presidential polls.

Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International West Africa researcher said President Jammeh’s rejection of the election results and his statement that he will not tolerate protest risks leading to instability and possible repression.

Gambians celebrated their new found freedom, speaking freely and exercising their rights that they have been denied under Jammeh’s repressive rule.

They went to the polls amid a total cutoff of communication from the outside world. The internet and international calling were blocked, putting the country back to the stone age Jammeh said he freed the country from.

“In recent weeks thousands of Gambians have enjoyed the ability to speak and gather freely, and these rights must continue to be protected,” said Mahtani.

President Jammeh has warned against protest after he rejected the results on Friday. Amnesty International has urged Gambian security forces to show restraint and called on the international community to condemn any restriction on protest and other violations that may be committed if Gambians decide to exercise their right to peaceful assembly.

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