Gambia: Entire opposition executive summoned by police

Gambia: Entire opposition executive summoned by police

Figureheads of a key opposition party, which was denied a permit to hold a rally were demanded to report to the police headquarters in the capital, Banjul, a source said.

The entire executive of the Gambia Democratic Congress will be reporting to the police on Thursday at 10 a.m. for a supposed meeting, barely a week after its party leader, Mama Kandeh was invited to the police.

Several of its executive members have indicated they will not be reporting to the police. Exeucutive members of other opposition parties also expected to attend the meeting with the police.

The police last week denied the GDC a permit to hold a rally in Brikama, an hour southwest of Banjul after Kandeh levied corruption allegations against senior government officials.

The country’s Information Minister, Demba Jawo said the police did not deny the permit. The police said there was a delay over a security brief to disrupt the GDC rally they received.

GDC said the police have not shared the brief with them calling the excuse a “baseless cover up” for unfairly treating the opposition group for “merely doing its job by holding government officials accountable.”

Police are accused of demanding personal information from at least three senior GDC officials, who applied for the rally permit, that were not relevant to their application.

Some activists say the police are returning to tactics used by the country’s ex-despotic regime to stifle opposition dissent, an action, which they said made the refusal to give GDC a permit “a sad day for democracy.”

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