(JollofNews) — A prominent member of a newly-formed Gambian opposition party has been arrested for the second time in just over a month, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Tina Faal was arrested at her home Monday and taken to the Mile 2 prison on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul, where other opposition activists have been held for months, said her lawyer Kombeh Gaye-Coker.
Faal was a former National Assembly member of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party. She left to join the Gambia Democratic Congress, which was launched this spring by another former ruling party member.
Faal was previously arrested in July and pleaded innocent to charges of conspiracy and theft for selling parts of an aircraft. She was later released on bail.
Gaye-Coker said the reason for Monday’s arrest was not clear.
Rights groups accuse Gambian President Yahya Jammeh of human rights abuses, including a clampdown on political opponents.
In June, Gambian activists and politicians called on West Africa’s economic body to take actions against Gambia for its brutal crackdown on rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Demonstrators and bystanders were beaten and arrested during peaceful demonstrations in April and May, according to Amnesty International. The court convicted 19 people in July, including the leader of the opposition United Democratic Party, sentencing them to three years’ imprisonment on charges related to unauthorized protests, the human rights group said, calling again for their unconditional release. More than 25 others remain in detention awaiting trial for the protests, Amnesty said.
United Democratic Party Secretary Solo Sandeng died in custody after undergoing torture, Amnesty said, demanding accountability for Jammeh, who has been in power since 1994. Gambia is scheduled to hold presidential elections in December.