Gambian Government Should Free Jailed Opposition Members

Amadou Sanneh, Malang Fatty and Alhagie Sambou Fatty—all members of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP)—were arrested in September 2013 by the Gambian government. They have been held incommunicado and without legal representation, amid allegations of torture. They were convicted of sedition and will serve up to five years in prison. Freedom House calls on the government of Gambia to unconditionally release them and end its brutal crackdown on political opponents and freedom of expression advocates.

Malang Fatty attempted to flee the country in September 2013 but was arrested at the Amdallai Border Post. He was in possession of a letter of support written by Sanneh, the UDP’s National Treasurer. Sanneh was arrested the following week for colluding with Fatty, whose brother, Alhagie Sambou Fatty, was also arrested.

The Gambia has a long history of intolerance and authoritarian rule. The Gambian government must uphold its international human rights obligations, and the international community should condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing prosecution of political opponents and pro-democracy activists. 

The Gambia is rated “Not Free” in Freedom of the World 2013 and “Not Free” in Freedom of the Press 2013.

Learn more:

Freedom in the World 2013: The Gambia

Freedom of the Press 2013: The Gambia

Blog: Freedom at Issue