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US Spokesperson John Kirby issues statement on release of pardoned prisoners

Jul 30, 2015, 2:11 PM

Release of Pardoned Prisoners and Disappearance of Gambian Journalist

The United States notes President Jammeh’s decision to pardon and release at least 200 prisoners and welcomes, in particular, his decision to release, after a lengthy period of detention without charge, family members of the December 30, 2014 coup plotters.

We call on The Gambia to respect its human rights obligations and to release all other prisoners currently being held without charge for longer than the 72-hour period established by The Gambia’s constitution.

The United States remains deeply concerned about the whereabouts of Gambian radio journalist Alagie Abdouli eCeesay, who disappeared on July 17, days after being released from a two-week long period of arbitrary detention during which he was reportedly tortured. 

We urge the Government of The Gambia to promptly locate Mr.Ceesay, return him to his family and loved ones, investigate the circumstances of his previous abduction and detention, and hold accountable any individuals found to be responsible for violating Mr Ceesay’s rights.

The United States is committed to supporting freedom of expression and the rule of law.

July 28, 2015

US State Department Office of Press Relations