Tag: arrests

Gambia: Free Speech Ban Threatens Rights in Vote Aftermath

Government Has Blocked Internet, Threatened Protest Ban

Gambian authorities should respect the rights of Gambians to peacefully express their views on the outcome of the December 1, 2016 presidential election. Prior to the vote, incumbent President Yahya Jammeh warned that protests against the election would not be permitted and the government blocked internet communications and international calls.

Although the two-week election campaign was peaceful, and included many large opposition and government rallies, President Jammeh responded to a November 29 media query about possible protests following the elections, saying, “In this country we don’t allow demonstrations.” At about 8 p.m. on November 30, the government blocked all internet services in Gambia as well as incoming and outgoing international calls. Online messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Viber, have been blocked for several weeks.