Soldiers Arbitrarily Detained as Political Crisis Deepens
(Dakar, January 18, 2017) –President Yahya Jammeh’s declared state of emergency in Gambia provides no justification for a crackdown on peaceful dissent around the January 19, 2017 deadline for the new government to take office, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.
Since January 15, security forces loyal to President Jammeh have arbitrarily detained at least five officers and enlisted men suspected of opposing Jammeh’s bid to remain in office. Since Jammeh rejected the December 1, 2016 election results on December 9, Gambian authorities have arbitrarily arrested opposition sympathizers and closed four independent radio stations. The state of emergency raises fears of further repression against opposition supporters around the planned January 19 inauguration of president-elect Adama Barrow. Many Gambians have fled the country out of concerns for their security.