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Video: Gambian president’s defeat sparks hope of political prisoners’ release

© FRANCE 24 | Mymuna Darboe, wife of imprisoned Gambian opposition leader, Ousainou Darboe.

Video by Sarah SAKHO , Emmanuelle LANDAIS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-12-05

After longtime Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s stunning election defeat last week, there is now hope that many of the political opponents he had jailed in the capital Banjul’s infamous Mile 2 prison may soon be released.

Jammeh conceded to opposition coalition leader Adama Barrow last Thursday, bringing an end to his 22 years in power.

His loss was celebrated by many in the country, including Mymuna Darboe, whose husband Ousainou, leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), is currently serving a three-year sentence at the Mile 2 prison.

“I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a dream. And the first thing that came to my mind was my husband and his colleagues, when and how they are going to be released,” Mymuna Darboe told FRANCE 24. “I am hoping that we will soon be reunited.”

Ousainou Darboe and 18 others were sentenced in July for attending an unauthorised yet peaceful protest against the death of a UDP member while allegedly in police custody. Amnesty International condemned their conviction, describing it as an example of the “continuing downward spiral for human rights in Gambia”.

“He committed no crime and the people who killed Solo Sandeng are the molesters. The criminals are walking freely in the streets and right now my husband and his colleagues are in the solitary confinement at Mile 2 prison, the worst place at Mile 2,” Mymuna Darboe said.

Shortly after this report was published online, Darboe and his 18 fellow prisoners were reported to have been freed on bail.

To view the full FRANCE 24 report on this story, click on the video player above.

Date created : 2016-12-05

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