The Socialist International firmly denounces and condemns the sentencing of Ousainou Darboe, leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) of Gambia, an SI member party, along with 18 other party members and sympathisers, to 3 years imprisonment, having been arbitrarily detained since 16 April 2016 following a peaceful demonstration.
The SI utterly deplores this travesty of justice and calls for their immediate release. We equally call on the international community to join forces in denouncing the conduct of the dictatorial regime of Yahya Jammeh and calling for an end to the continuing violation of human rights in that country, the physical abuse and murder of detainees in custody as in the case of UDP Secretary Ebrima Solo Sandeng earlier this year, the persistent denial of freedom of expression, and the harassment of members of the opposition by the ruling regime.
The Socialist International reaffirms its full solidarity with Ousainou Darboe and those sentenced with him, with the UDP, and all the democratic forces in The Gambia struggling for their full rights and freedoms and is determined to remain attentive to the situation in the country ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections due to be held in December 2016. The SI reiterates its call to the international community and to regional and international institutions, in particular the African Union and the United Nations, for urgent action in this case.