The United Democratic Party (UDP), has renewed its demand for the unconditional release of its Secretary General and Party Leader Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and twenty-nine other members including key senior executive who were sentenced and convicted on 20th and 21st July 2016.
The UDP still maintains that these honorable gentlemen and women have not broken any law. Their sentencing and conviction therefore is a farce and a miscarriage of justice. They were not accorded fair trials as evident in the sham process. The verdicts were disproportionate and have exposed yet more the tendencies by President Jammeh to perpetuate with determination, his dictatorial rule in the Gambia.
The UDP unreservedly and strongly condemns the verdicts and therefore demands the unconditional and immediate release of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and all other political detainees.
The government should have instead launched an urgent criminal investigation into the mysterious death of Ebrima Solo Sandeng, UDP’s Organizing Secretary, under state custody and bring to book those responsible for his torture and subsequent murder.
The UDP also condemns the harassment of seventeen other members of the party arrested on the 9th May 2016, among them three women one of whom, a lactating mother of three months old baby, in the name of a trial at the High Court which we believe will neither be free nor fair. We demand for their immediate and unconditional release.
We are very much shocked and saddened with the recent ruling of the court on the Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by UDP lawyers, in the case of Ebrima Solo Sandeng. We are affirmatively demanding that the court judiciously act on the matter without any further delay.
We are further putting the international community and friends of The Gambia on notice about the continuous detention without trial of two UDP supporters: Dembo S. Darboe (also known as Touray Darboe) from Kafuta and Sanusi Sanyang from New Jeshwang who were respectively picked up by NIA operatives on the 16th April and 10th May 2016 at their various locations.
The party is seriously both about their whereabouts and plight. We demand for their immediate and unconditional release. The party considers their continuous detention as enforced disappearance which the regime is highly known for.
To conclude, UDP highly appreciates from the bottom of our hearts, the solidarity messages and efforts of each and every Gambian at home and abroad on the illegal detention, trial, sentencing and unjust convictions of our party leader and other members. We wish to thank the media both print and electronic especially the online media for making The Gambia and the world at large well informed on the issue.
We wish to extend our sincere and profound gratitude to the diaspora community, both supporters and non-supporters of the UDP, for their unflinching support. We fully acknowledge your every effort to end dictatorship and tyranny in The Gambia.
To the international community, we thank you for standing shoulder to shoulder with the suppressed and oppressed people of The Gambia through diplomatic moves. We acknowledge with great sense of humility your total rejection of the coercive and cosmetic democratic system in the Gambia.
We are very grateful to the families of all the victims, released, detained or jailed for been accommodative to the party, and committed and understandable to the cause in particularly, the Darboe families at home and abroad.
We thank each and everyone for standing up and do your part to help this critical struggle for the very soul and direction of our country. Together we stand as a diverse but indivisible people where our patience, endurance and faith continue to be tested by the machinations and barbarism of a regime shamelessly determined to abuse our collective rights.
Fellow Gambians and friends of The Gambia, with your continuous help and support, be rest assured that the moral rectitude of our cause will by the grace of God help us reclaim our country and with it our dignity which the dictator has trampled on for too long. We urge all citizens to be steadfast, law abiding and fully engaged in this struggle to make our Gambia free, democratic and safe for all its citizens.
Long Live the United Democratic Party
Long Live The Gambia
And down with dictatorship
Mariam B. Secka
Deputy Secretary General and Deputy Party Leaders