Rights groups call for investigations into 30 December coup attempt

By Sanna Camara

Francois Patuel (center) calls for independent investigations….

At a press conference held yesterday in Dakar, human rights organisations have called for investigations into the events of the 30th December coup attempt that saw the death of four coupists, followed by the arrest of tens of family members.

Speaking to Gambia Beat on the sidelines of the press conference, Campaign Manager for Amnesty International Regional Office in Dakar, said they “are also calling for an investigation into what has happened on the 30th December and a follow up to the violations that the Gambia government has committed since the 30th December coup attempt.”

A line up of over ten human rights organisations have come together to make a joint statement on the rights vilation situations in The Gambia. Amnesty International’s Francois Patuel argued that such an investigations “need to be done with international observers who should have unfettered access to detention centers including the national intelligence agency.”

“There has been about 30 people who have been arrested since the event, mostly family members including a 16-year-old boy. We are extremely concerned by the fact that they are held in secrete detentions,” said Mr. Patuel

He said there is information that these detainees may be held at the state intelligence headquarters I Banjul, which is notorious for torture on regular basis.

“This is no place for people to be detained – not family members, and particularly not a 16-year-old boy. We are calling today for the end to secrete detentions, for people [arrested and detained] to be charged and brought to fair trial within the standards of international human rights law, or to be released immediately,” said the rights advocate.

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