Gambia’s opposition party leader denied bail prompting the party to appeal for international help

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Ousaniou Darboe

Gambia’s main opposition party, United Democratic Party (UDP) is calling for international assistance to get their party leader Ousaniou Darboe released from jail report VOA.

UDP’s vice President appealed for international intervention after bail was denied to Darboe and 38 other opposition members who were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit felony last month.

Darboe was denied bail during Thursday court appearance which the oopposition term as unusual because defendants are entitled to bail in Gambian Courts. Darboe with the others are scheduled to appear in court again on Monday.

“I would like for the international community to assist us as soon as possible because there is no justice in this country,” said Mariam Secka, UDP deputy secretary general.

The opposition members had been charged for unlawful assembly, rioting and incitement to violence earlier after holding a rally to demand for police reforms and protest the death of their official Solo Sandeng who died in police custody.

The opposition expressed no confidence in the legal system in Gambia because it answers to President Yahya Jammeh.

Gambia Information Minister Sheriff Bojang told VOA that Darboe and the others violated Gambia’s Public Order Act, which forbids acts such as street protests and meetings without first receiving permission from the police.

According to Secka, Darboe’s arrest will have a political impact with the national elections due in December 2016.

“My party is worried because they can keep Mr. Darboe and some members of his team until the election is over, and that wouldn’t be to our advantage,” said Secka

 

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