Few hours after Amnesty International’s strong worded press release, and the continued advocacy of The Gambians in the diaspora, The Gambian dictator has ordered The Brikama Magistrate’s court to drop charges against the Kartong 33 with effect from Tuesday, Dec 1, 2015. The 33 including a 70 year old man were arrested on November 24 and charged with conspiracy, breach of the peace, riot, causing malicious injuries and riotously interfering with a vehicle. They were denied bail by Magisterate Hilary Abeke and sent to the security wing of the mile 2 central prison where family members were denied access to them.
Activists say the President’s decision came amidst pressure from the youths on the ground who were prepared to do whatever it takes to see the release of family members and friends. Eventhough the President has ordered for their unconditional release, there is no word yet on whether sand mining will continue in Kartong or not.
Meanwhile, hundreds are out in the streets of Kartong jubilating upon hearing the news.