By Alhagie Jobe
Samantha Power, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations has called on The Gambia government to release Fanta Darboe Jawara, a US citizen languishing in Gambia’s notorious jailed for nearly 3 months.
Power, a mother and human rights defender made the call through a tweet sent on Friday. She tweeted: ‘#Gambia shld release Fanta Jawara, American jailed for nearly 3 mo in severe crcdown on peaceful protesters #FreeFanta’.
A US citizen of Gambian native, Fanta Darboe Jawara of Frederick, Maryland, a wife and mother of two daughters ages 12 and 17, arrived in The Gambia to visit her family but was arrested for being in the right place, the city market, at the wrong time. She was arrested on Saturday, April 16 and imprisoned at the Mile II Central Prison in The Gambia as an onlooker during a protest for the release of Gambian political activist and opposition member Solo Sandeng.
Solo Sandeng was arrested on April 14th for leading a peaceful protest at Westfield calling for electoral reforms ahead of the December polls.He was arrested along with a dozen opposition members and was later pronounced dead after being tortured by state agents. The others sustained severe injuries and are now facing trial. Fanta Darboe Jawara, along with other bystanders were arrested as a result.
Rights Groups and the International community have since denounced the arrest of Fanta Jawara and all other political detainees saying protesting is completely legal in the Gambia according to the law, meaning they committed no crime and were arrested and detained for an unjust cause.