Thursday, August 25, 2016

It is time for a travel ban against the Jammeh regime

Ebrima Solo Krummah 
The United Kingdom government is the latest in a line to express concern to the Jammeh regime about the reported death in custody of Ebrima Solo Krummah,  Concern was also raised over reports of "excessive violence and ill-treatment" of dozens of opposition leaders currently in prison.

Similar to previous statements from the United States, France and the United Nations, the  UK statement calls for the release of all political prisoners and to investigate all claims of reported violence against and mistreatment of political prisoners.  The statement also calls for an inclusive environment that makes it possible for all political parties and their supporters "the ability to participate in the electoral process without hindrance."  

Ebrima Solo Krummah who was arrested in May along with dozens of party official for taking part in the peaceful protest demanding the release, from custody, of Solo Sandeng or his body at the time when authorities were denying tal blog post, which you can find here,confirming that the UDP youth leader, Mr. Sandeng, died from wounds sustained while undergoing several torture sessions at the hands of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA).  Even though the regime finally admitted that Solo Sandeng died in custody, Jammeh still refused to release the body to his family for decent burial.

A UDP-issued press release suggested that Solo Krummah was operated on at the Banjul hospital without the knowledge or prior notification of neither his family nor the United Democratic Party and thus no consent forms were signed.  As far as the UDP is concerned, because he died while in custody and under unusual circumstances, the cause of death must be determined prior to the body being handed over to Mr. Krummah's family.

While we welcome the swift statements of concern that calls for the cessation of the violence against the prison population in general and the opposition politicians in particular, we call on the United Kingdom, France, United States, United Nations and the European Union to consider applying sanction, in the form of a travel/visa ban against targeted senior members of the Jammeh regime.  We encourage other human rights groups to apply further pressure on their respective jurisdictions to demand similar sanctions.  It is time we move beyond statements.