The opposition APRC Party has demanded Gambian authorities to drop charges against dozens of its supporters that were arrested during clashes between protesters and West African forces.
A protest demanding the withdrawal of West African troops from the opposition stronghold of Foni in southern Gambia turned violent leaving at least one person dead and several people injured.
Gambian authorities charged at least 23 people, including two soldiers for taking part in the protest and have released them on bail.
“The government must drop all politically motivated charges against all APRC members such as the Kanilai peaceful demonstrators and victory celebrators in Sibanor,” said Fabakary Tombong Jatta.
Gambia’s minister of internal security, Mai Ahmad Fatty said protesters were armed, engaged in violent provocation and rioted injuring three soldiers.
Gambia’s Justice Department dropped charges against more than 50 supporters of the APRC that allegedly attacked government supporters in March following ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s uncolorful departure to Equatorial Guinea.
The APRC has continuously accused the Gambia’s new government of targeting the party to bring it to its knees.
It has renewed its calls for the authorities to investigate the shooting death of Haruna Jammeh, the protester that died during the Foni Kansala protest.
Gambia is yet to release a report from a fact-finding mission that was sent to probe the incident in Kanilai. It is not clear if the investigations have been concluded.