Tag: Yahya Jammeh

Gambia: Arrests, Media Closures as Deadline Nears

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Rights at Risk as Calls for Jammeh’s Exit Intensify

The government of President Yahya Jammeh, defeated in Gambia’s December presidential election, has arbitrarily arrested opposition sympathizers and closed three independent radio stations in the past week, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. Jammeh is required under Gambia’s Constitution to cede power to President-elect Adama Barrow by January 19, 2017.

Since December 31, intelligence agents have arrested and briefly detained at least six people for wearing or selling T-shirts bearing the logo of the #Gambiahasdecided movement, which has called for Jammeh to respect the election results and step down. Several senior members of the movement have fled Gambia after receiving credible threats from alleged National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officers. On January 1, 2017, intelligence agents forcibly closed three private radio stations, depriving Gambians of independent sources of information during this critical period.

Gambian President Jammeh to Concede Defeat in Election

The Gambia’s autocratic president, Yahya Jammeh, who once claimed a “billion-year” mandate to rule, has agreed to concede defeat after a shock election loss to a real-estate developer.

Jammeh has ruled the tiny west African nation for more than two decades. If he goes ahead with a peaceful handover of power, challenger Adama Barrow will become its third head of state since independence in 1962.

The head of the Gambia’s electoral commission, Alieu Momarr Njai, said Jammeh would concede on Friday. A video of his speech has already been recorded and is being edited, sources told the Guardian.