Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends the plenary session of the Africa-South America Summit on Margarita Island September 27, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

President Jammeh urged to end clampdown on activists

Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow wants President Yahya Jammeh to cease the crackdown on dissidents that has sent some pro-democracy activists into hiding and release supporters of a grassroots campaign asserting pressure on him to step down.

With less than two weeks before Mr. Jammeh’s mandate expires, a wave of arrests saw at least four leaders of the #GambiaHasDecided campaign exiled, three people arrested and a handful of people interrogated.

“…slogans on t-shirts have nothing to do and will not upset the existing political balance in the country. Such slogans could not be stretched in any way to constitute a destabilization agenda or a crime,” said Halifa Sallah, spokesperson for the coalition.

Activists say they have been put under surveillance by security forces loyal to President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh has been defeated in an election last month and is refusing to hand over power to Mr. Barrow.

Military officers are still patrolling the streets of the capital and tearing down campaign materials not favorable to Mr. Jammeh. People have been asked to take off #GambiaHasDecided stickers off their vehicles and businesses selling them are being harassed.

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