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REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA: Gambia: Amnesty International delegates released unconditionally

12 Oct 2007
Region: REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
Topic: Individual at risk
Amnesty International today announced the unconditional release of its two delegates who had been detained in The Gambia, along with the local journalist detained with them. The organization said that no charges had been brought against any of the three.
"The fact that these people were detained solely for their human rights work is deplorable," said Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International's Africa Programme. "While we welcome the releases, all restrictions on the work of human rights activists in The Gambia must be lifted immediately."

Tania Bernath and Ayodele Ameen boarded a flight in Banjul at 16.00 GMT and are expected to arrive in London tomorrow morning.

Amnesty International remains concerned for the security of Yaya Dampah, the local journalist detained with the two Amnesty International delegates, who remains in The Gambia.

The organization called on the government to ensure that Dampha will not be targeted due to his association with Amnesty International.

The two Amnesty International delegates had been in The Gambia since 2 October, when they arrived to conduct research into human rights violations in the country, including arbitrary and unlawful detentions, attacks on freedom of the press, and torture in custody. They also held a workshop for local human rights defenders and journalists in Banjul. The authorities had been informed about the Amnesty International mission.

AI Index: AFR 27/004/2007
12 October 2007

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