APRC lashes out at police for dispersing their meeting

APRC lashes out at police for dispersing their meeting

APRC Spokesperson Seedy SK Njie said Thursday the police have violated their right to assembly and association after it entered a private residence and dispersed their meeting.

Police entered the home of Saikouna Sanneh in Banjulinding, six miles northeast of Brikama and dispersed a crowd of about 25 people.

Njie said they had written to the police to secure a permit but they did not get a response.

“What the police did was wrong because the meeting was in a private residence. This is unacceptable and they have no right, whatsoever, to come there and stop the meeting,” said Mr. Njie.

According to Gambian law, a police permit is not needed to have gatherings on a private property and when a sound amplifier or Public Address system will not be used.

“I was told that if the gathering is organized in inside a compound it would not be a problem. This was why we gathered in the compound to have our discussions,” said Sanneh, who is also the Secretary General for APRC Vanguards.

The APRC supporters were having a preliminary meeting for the upcoming parliamentary elections, in which it is seeking to maintain a majority and become a governing opposition.

APRC suffered defeat in the hands of a coalition of opposition groups in December. While in power, APRC has denied permits to opposition parties, a practice that has led to standoffs, prosecutions and hundreds of arrests.

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