The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to The Gambia has expressed concern over the second death in custody of an opposition member in three months.
Ebrima Solo Krummah, a father of nine, died on Saturday at the Edward Francis’s Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul, according to his party, the United Democratic Party (UDP).
“The United Kingdom has raised concerns over reports of excessive violence and ill treatment of those in custody in the Gambia on a number of occasions”, Ambassador Colin Crorkin said.
“[W]e have also expressed our dismay over the severity of the sentencing in the case of the United Democratic Party leader and his supporters.
“The United Kingdom calls on the Gambian authorities to release all political prisoners and ensure that claims of mistreatment are investigated in a credible and transparent way in line with international human rights obligations. We also call on the Gambian authorities to create an inclusive environment that allows all political parties, and their supporters, the ability to participate in the electoral process without hindrance.”
Krummah and fourteen other UDP members were sentenced to three years in jail by a court in Mansakonko for protesting against bad electoral laws. 48 hours before their conviction, another high court judge in Banjul sentenced the UDP’s leader Ousainou Darboe and nineteen others to three years in jail.
In April, members of the party led by Solo Sandeng organised a protest calling for changes to Gambia’s electoral system. The protest was dispersed by armed security officers who arrested dozens. Eyewitnesses said they were beaten.
Few days after their arrest, the UDP reported Sandeng had died in custody as a result of torture.