The leader of United Democratic Party (UDP), Gambia’s main opposition party, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his fellow arrestees have been arraigned before the high court in Banjul. Mr Darboe who was arrested on the 16th April 2016 with his fellow protesters for staging a peaceful protest in demanding the release of Mr Solo Sandeng et. al are bogusly charged with the following six counts:
- Unlawful Assembly
- Incitement of Violence
- Riotously Interfering with traffic
- Holding a procession without a license
- Disobeying an ORDER to disperse from an unlawful procession
However, those charged are excluding five other people Mr. Solo Sandeng, Nogoi Njie, Modou Ngum and Fatou Camara, whom were arrested on the 14th April 2016. Their exclusion has raised serious concerns for the families, friends and the international community. The only conclusions that can be drawn from their exclusion are either they are tortured to death or severely harmed they can’t appear in public. The attorney for the 35 people charged Lawyer Antouman Gaye have argued for their bail, however, the presiding judge advised him to submit a written bail application rather than verbal one. The case is adjourned to continue today.
Meanwhile, the secretary general of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki Moon have called on the Gambia authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths. He also extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the deceased.