soloA key political activist of the United Democratic Party who was arrested on Thursday had been reportedly killed by Gambian security. Solo Sandeng, the newly elected Organising Secretary of the UDP, was tortured to death. His arrest and detention resulted on Thursday April 14th when he and more than a dozen youths held a peaceful protest at Westfield, demanding electoral reforms ahead of the December 2016 elections.

Neither the UDP leadership, nor the family of Mr. Sandeng confirmed the death.

Solo, vibrant youth leader of the UDP for many years, will be remembered for his undivided love of his country, bravery and commitment to ensure that change takes place. His tragic news came two months after the death in custody of Sheriff Dibba, the Secretary General of Gambia National Transport Control Association. Mr. Dibba’s death also resulted from tortures he had gone through.

The onus now lies on Gambian government to prove that Solo Sandeng is alive.

Several other peaceful protesters who were arrested included the following UDP executive members: Fatoumata Jawara (Female Youth President), Fatou Camara, (Constituency Women’s Leader), Nokoi Njie (2nd Vice President of the Women’s Wing) and Lang Marong (Deputy Campaign Manager).

The more than a dozen arrested protesters were held in Mile 2 Central Prisons before being moved to the National Intelligence Agency for interrogation. They were tortured, with some of them, including Fatoumata Jawara, nursing injuries.

The Gambia government’s high-handed behaviour and disrespect for the constitution and the rule of law was the main reason why the UDP executive took to the streets.

Since July 1994 when a group of rag-tag soldiers overthrew the democratically elected government of Sir Dawda Jawara, Gambians have not known peace. The coup that gave birth to Yahya Jammeh opened the doors of Hell for Gambians, who have either been extra-judicial executed, tortured to death, disappeared or fled into exile. Yahya Jammeh has been feeding on innocent Gambian blood.

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