Opposition activist jailed with Gambia’s foreign minister dies

Opposition activist jailed with Gambia’s foreign minister dies

An opposition figure that was jailed by the ex-regime of Yahya Jammeh has died just nine months into his release, his family confirmed Thursday.

Lamin Manjang was arrested and jailed in April 2016 for taking part in anti-government demonstrations with the leader of the opposition UDP party, Ousainou Darboe.

He is the fourth member of the party to be a victim of the party since last year. At least two of those released from jail following Jammeh’s ouster have died this year, including a 25-year-old Ebrima Ceesay, whose father, Madi Ceesay became a Member of Parliament.

The former opposition detainees were allegedly beaten and poisoned in jail. Doctors in neighboring Senegal confirmed that one of the deceased, Lamin Marong died of poisoning that corroded his digestive organs.

Another opposition member, Ebrima Nkrumah died of similar complications after he was denied medical care during his detention last year.

Mr. Manjang has been battling with health complications since his release in January. Many of those jailed with Mr. Darboe are reported to be sick.

The UDP party blamed, which is now part of the Gambia’s unity government is blaming Jammeh, who is now in exile in Equatorial Guinea for the deaths.

Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, rules The Gambia with an iron fist. His regime is regularly accused by rights groups of forcibly disappearing opponents.

He was defeated by Adama Barrow in last year’s elections following the protests led by Solo Sandeng, a member of Barrow’s party.

Sandeng died in custody triggering protests at which UDP leader Ousainou Darboe, Manjang, and many others arrested and sentenced to three years in prison.

Jammeh’s defeat in the elections saw their release from jail in December. Activists, party supporters and family members are pouring out condolences to the Manjang family, promising justice for him and all victims of the ex-regime.

Manjang’s death is prompting calls for the new government to immediately take overseas all opposition detainees for thorough medical examination and treatment.

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