Declaration on Gambia
Meeting of the SI Council at the United Nations in Geneva, 1-2 July 2016
Considering that the government security forces have violently repressed demonstrators demanding electoral reform and the right to free speech in Gambia.
Considering that Ousainou Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), an SI member party, has been detained arbitrarily since 16 April 2016.
Considering the tragic and unexplained death in custody of UDP Organisation Secretary Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
The Socialist International Council, meeting at the United Nations, Geneva, on 1-2 July 2016:
Condemns the continued use of violence and grave human rights violations perpetrated by the government against the political opposition in Gambia.
Calls for the full respect of all human rights in that country, including the right to free speech.
Demands an urgent and independent investigation of the death of Ebrima Solo Sandeng, and the immediate release of Ousainou Darboe and his colleagues.
Calls on the competent authorities in the African Union and the Office of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights to act urgently to protect the rights of all those today under serious threat in Gambia.
Invites the wider international community and all SI member parties to denounce the conduct of the government of Gambia in relation to human rights abuses, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings.
Demands that the presidential election in December 2016 be free, transparent and fair.
Extends its solidarity to the UDP, its leadership and members in advance of those presidential elections.
Resolves to remain engaged with the situation in Gambia and do its utmost to contribute to the realisation of the aspirations and goals of its member party and other democratic forces for the development of a society with freedoms and rights and an effective democracy.