Following the release on bail of opposition leader and 18 other peaceful protestors this afternoon by an Appeal Court in Gambia, Sabrina Mahtani Amnesty International’s West Africa Anglophone Researcher said:
“The release of Ousainou Darboe and the 18 other peaceful protestors on bail is a big moment for them and their families, and we hope that this positive step indicates that they will be fully acquitted in due course.”
“We must also not forget others prisoners of conscience who still languish in jail simply for having expressed their opinion or participated in peaceful protests. These include three Imams arrested by the security forces over a year ago and not seen since. Their only ‘crime’ – presenting a petition to the government.”
Today an Appeal Court in Banjul released on bail 19 people – including the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Ousainou Darboe. They were convicted on 20 July 2016 and sentenced to 3 years in prison for participating in peaceful protests. Fourteen more are awaiting trial. They were found guilty on six counts relating to participating in unauthorized protests on 16 April 2016 in the outskirts of the country’s capital, Banjul. The Court ordered them to hand over their passports.