Rights grouping calls on Gambia to inquire into activist'south death

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 7:32 PM

Solo Sandeng, the opposition United Democratic Party'south organizing secretary, was arrested during a protest Thursday in Serrekunda that called for electoral reforms, the grouping said.

Rights grouping calls on Gambia to inquire into activist'south death

A Gambian political activist has died in detention after participating in a peaceful protest, Amnesty International said Saturday, calling for an investigation into the death and the release of others held.

Solo Sandeng, the opposition United Democratic Party'south organizing secretary, was arrested during a protest Thursday in Serrekunda that called for electoral reforms, the grouping said. The circumstances of his death are unknown. Sandeng was previously arrested in two thousand-thirteenth for his political activities.

Police dispersed the mostly peaceful protest and detained other opposition party demonstrators including Fatoumata Jawara, the president of the party'south female youth wing, who's believed to be suffering from serious injuries, Amnesty said.

The tiny W African nation is bracing for presidential elections in December two thousand sixteen. Opposition parties and pro-democracy groups are demanding political and electoral reforms.

"Gambia should uphold the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, particularly in advance of the elections," said Amnesty. "All of the peaceful protesters arrested by the authorities should be immediately and unconditionally released. Any who are injured should get urgent medical treatment."

The government appointed a former stalwart of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction as the new chair of the Independent Electoral Commission.

"These protesters arrive from different political backgrounds and their demands are very ordinary and legitimate," said Alkali Conteh of Gambia Democracy Action Group. He also called on authorities to release demonstrators.

Protests against President Yahya Jammeh, whose regulation since one thousand nine hundred ninety-four has been marred by human rights violations, are rare. Paramilitary forces gunned down fourteen students who took portion in a peaceful demonstration against Jammeh in April 2000.

Rights groups have also been calling for the release of journalist Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, who's been detained since July.

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