Following reports that Gambian President Yaya Jammeh ssigned a draconian law mandating life imprisonment for individuals perceived to be LGBTI in The Gambia, Freedom House issued the following statement.
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.
Freedom House condemns the amendments to The Gambia’s Information and Communications Act - passed by the National Assembly on July 3 – which penalize those who spread “false news or information” against the government. These amendments further restrict freedom of expression, press freedom and internet freedom in The Gambia and demonstrate the government’s open hostility towards the media.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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