Gambia opposition activists charged - Daily Nation

Gambia opposition activists charged

Saturday April 30 2016

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (left), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (centre) and President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh (right) pose for a photograph during a family photo of 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit at Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) on April 14, 2016. PHOTO | AFP

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (left), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (centre) and President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh (right) pose for a photograph during a family photo of 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit at Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) on April 14, 2016. PHOTO | AFP 

By AFP
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BANJUL, Friday

Gambian prosecutors have charged opposition leader Ousaniou Darboe and 19 other activists with conspiracy to commit a felony.

Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party, and his co-defendants, including a new accused Masanneh Lalo Jawla, all pleaded not guilty to the charge at the high court in Banjul.

They had previously been charged with unlawful assembly, rioting and incitement to violence.

Jawla was also charged with all the counts earlier levelled against his co-defendants.

They are among 38 people arrested over demonstrations on April 14 and 16.

Some of them were detained on April 14 after a rare opposition protest demanding political reforms while the others were arrested following a demonstration two days later against the death of UDP official Solo Sandeng in custody.

The court adjourned the case to May 5 and did not rule on bail application.

Their lawyers told the court that the opposition activists had been denied adequate food, access to medical attention and family visits.

Defence lawyer Hawa Sisay Sabally said her client Fanta Darboe had sustained severe injuries to her right hand and other parts of the body but had not yet received medical attention.

Prosecutor Hadi Saleh Barkum rejected the claims.

The court, however, ordered prison authorities to allow the defendants access to adequate food, care and visits from their relatives. (AFP)