Thursday, January 15, 2015

Civilians still being arrested and held by the Jammeh regime

Fatou Sonko, 52, Mother of Dawda Bojang

Ensa Bojang, 61, Father of Dawda Bojang

We welcome news that some detainees have been released ahead of the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas according to Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs of Freedom House, an independent watchdog that supports democratic change and advocates for democracy and human rights.   Freedom House believe that these releases have more to do with the fact that the regime in Banjul has little, if any, probable cause for detaining them in the first place." 
We cannot agree more with Freedom House when Mr. Petrovic added that "[t]the release should not deter the UN from confronting the Jammeh regime about arbitrary arrests and repression. UN Special Representative Ibn Chambas should demand the Gambian government immediately stop its reign of terror on its citizens and conduct transparent investigations into the coup, in accordance with international human rights standards.”  
The United Nations and other human rights groups should call on the government of The Gambia to release the rest of the detainees unconditionally.  We have reports that the wife ( Neneh Jobe ) of Dawda Bojang and his childhood friend (Fafa Jallow) have been released but the regime is still holding both his parents (pictured above) and have been the subject of an earlier blog post which you can find here. 
Our sources are also telling us that arrests are still being carried out even as Muhamed Ibn Chambas is in the country representing the Secretary of the United Nations.   We are calling on the Jammeh regime again to release all those innocent Gambian civilians who are not involved in the events of 30 December at the State House.