Friday, July 31, 2015
U.S. Issues Statement on Gambian Journalist and Prisioners
Release of Pardoned Prisoners and Disappearance of Gambian Journalist
Department of State Spokesperson
July 28, 2015
The United States notes President Jammeh’s decision to pardon and release at least 200 prisoners and welcomes, in particular, his decision to release, after a lengthy period of detention without charge, family members of the December 30, 2014 coup plotters.
We call on The Gambia to respect its human rights obligations and to release all other prisoners currently being held without charge for longer than the 72-hour period established by The Gambia’s constitution.
The United States remains deeply concerned about the whereabouts of Gambian radio journalist Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, who disappeared on July 17, days after being released from a two-week long period of arbitrary detention during which he was reportedly tortured. We urge the Government of The Gambia to promptly locate Mr. Ceesay, return him to his family and loved ones, investigate the circumstances of his previous abduction and detention, and hold accountable any individuals found to be responsible for violating Mr. Ceesay’s rights.
The United States is committed to supporting freedom of expression and the rule of law, and takes very seriously this and other reports of abusive conduct by Gambian security forces.