Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Prisoner of conscience, Ousainou Darboe, transfer to maximum security wing is of grave concern

Darbou, Femmi Peters, Kemeseng Jammeh and Executive members

Ousainou Darboe, leader of Gambia's biggest opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), has been classified, together with members of the opposition arrested last month, as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.  The international human rights organization is also demanding the release of all 38 prisoners of conscience, including the leader of the UDP.

It is reported that Mr. Darboe has been transferred to the maximum security wing of the notorious Mile II prisons, considered to be one of the worst prisons in the world.  His transfer to this part of the prisons which is described as an insect- and rat-infested cell reserved for those prisoners that the regime intends to inflict permanent harm.  

We also understand that he has not been given his medication as prescribed by his doctors which, according to sources, is a standard practice and a deliberate form of punishment designed to damage the health of prisoners.  The frequent poisoning of prisoners have also been alleged to have taken place in this section of the Mile II prisons.  Given the record of this particular prison in general and the maximum security cell in particular as regards prisoner health and well being, we are drawing the attention of the world to this fact.

As prisoners of conscience, we join Amnesty International in demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all 38 prisoners, including Ousainou Darboe while concurrently joining family, friends and supporters of the UDP leader and all 38 prisoners of conscience in expressing concern about their health and safety while in custody.