(Jollofnews) – Protest over electoral reform which started in Westfield in April has spread to the Gambian capital, Banjul.
Several people gathered at the High Court in Banjul on Wednesday where seven more United Democratic Party (UDP) members appeared on several charges.
Protesters held banners that read: “We want democracy, no dictatorship.” Others were waving the Gambian and UDP flags.
Gambia’s current political crisis began on April 14 when members of the United Democratic Party led by Solo Sandeng staged a rare protest at Westfield Junction calling for electoral reforms and President Yahya Jammeh’s resignation.
Mr Sandeng and several others were beaten and arrested. Two days later, his party announced he was tortured to death while in custody.
Minutes after announcing his death, the UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe led his party members in another protest on April 16. The Darboe led protest was quelled by armed security officers who threw tear gas at them.
Mr Darboe and many others were arrested and kept in detention. He and 18 others were brought to court five days later and charged with several charges.
The charges against them included: Unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, riotously interfering with traffic, holding a procession without a license and disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession.
However, prosecutors amended the charges which now includes conspiracy to commit felony.
A team of lawyers, led by Antouman Gaye have been in and out of court trying to secure their release on bail.
The United Nations Secretary General, the United States, the European Union and several international human rights organisations such as Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and Article 19 have condemned Jammeh’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.