A joint EU, UN, ECOWAS and AU mission were given access to the Gambia’s Mile 2 prison, one of Africa’s most inhumane detention facility.
It is the first time that foreign diplomats have been allowed into the maximum security prison in 23 years.
The prison has been used by former Dictator Yahya Jammeh to imprison, torture and kill his political opponents and perceived enemies.
A report by the U.N. special rapporteur on torture found evidence of significant human rights violations in Gambia, placing pressure on European governments to withhold aid from Jammeh’s government.
During the visit in 2015, they were denied access to the security wing of Mile 2 Central Prison, where death row prisoners are held in solitary confinement.
Jammeh was defeated in the polls in December and opposition rival, Adama Barrow took over power ending a political standoff that nearly slipped the country into civil war.
Since Jammeh’s uncolorful departure, the EU has released the withheld aid package and pledged an additional $170 million in aid to the impoverished West African nation.
So far, Barrow has ordered the release of dozens of political prisoners and retracted Gambia’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.