(JollofNews) – Fairly large crowds of Senegalese civil society activists and Gambian exiles in Senegal converged at the Place de la Nation (l’Obelisque) in Dakar on Friday afternoon to denounce the climate of repression prevailing in The Gambia.
The protest, spearheaded by several human rights and civil society groups, including Amnesty International, Article 19 and Y’en a mare, was to show solidarity with the people of The Gambia as victims of a deadly crackdown by the government of President Yahya Jammeh.
All the speakers, who included several activists and politicians, emphasized that it is incumbent on the people of Senegal to show solidarity with their Gambian neighbours for living under a repressive system of government in their country.
As long as there is no peace in The Gambia, we cannot have peace in Senegal, because the peoples of the two countries are one and the same and the Senegalese government should not sit down and watch Yahya Jammeh harass innocent Gambians without doing anything about it, said Fadel Barro of Y’en a mare.
The other speakers included Fatou Jagne Senghore, Executive Director of Article 19, Moustapha Diakhate, Majority Leader in the Senegalese National Assembly, Ababcarr Gaye of the Parti Democratique Senegalaise (PDS) and Dr. Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, a former Gambian minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as several others.
They all deplored the current situation in The Gambia, and called on President Jammeh to release all those detained in connection with recent political demonstrations as well as account for those suspected to have been tortured to death.
The demonstrations were triggered by recent events in The Gambia in which some members of the opposition who took to the streets last week to peacefully demand electoral reforms ahead of elections in December were brutally suppressed by the security forces.
At least three protesters are reported to have died while in detention.
The Gambia government has so far not issued any statement to confirm or deny the reported deaths in custody.