The United Democratic Party (UDP) – The Gambia wishes to inform the general public and the international community that another UDP detainee, Solo Krummah, arrested since on the 9th May 2016 and currently under trial, has died in state custody at the Edward Francis’s Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul .
Solo was admitted on the 8th August 2016 and reportedly underwent an operation on Friday 19th August 2016 and died on the 20th August 2016 at about 7.15 am after the operation. The party and family members up to the issuance of this statement have not been formally notified of the death. The circumstances surrounding his medical condition leading to his admission and the subsequent actions undertaken by his jailers remain unknown to his immediate family and the UDP as both were repeatedly denied access to him throughout his stay in state custody.
During the period of his admission at the hospital, he was denied visits as well as food from both the family and party members. There were security officials around him throughout, three or two armed soldiers and two prison guards. Neither the family nor the party consented to any form of treatment that was either performed or withheld throughout his time in jail or at the hospital. Consequently party lawyers are acting to determine the exact cause of death as well as make affirmative demands for the state to immediately and unconditionally surrender the body of the victim to his family for proper burial at his native village of Sandu Darsilameh in URR. Solo was the UDP deputy chairman in Sandu Constituency and headed the party in his native Darsilameh village. He is survived by nine daughters, six sons and an elderly father. Additionally, a substantial number of UDP detainees having undergone severe and sustained torture and other degrading treatment throughout their stay in custody require urgent and extensive medical attention which they have been consistently denied despite formal and frequent requests and demands.
The situation is especially grave for detainees battling chronic and debilitating conditions that require constant supervised treatment and medication. Others like Lamin Dibba who sustained a serious eye injury from violence inflicted by the police requires urgent specialized care to save his sight as well as female detainees who were subjected to horrendous torture and abuse require immediate medical attention . UDP holds The Gambia government entirely responsible for the death of Solo Krummah as well as the fate of all the detainees they continue to subject to medieval barbarism by intentionally inflicting bodily harm and then steadfastly withhold urgent lifesaving medical interventions to induce death or prolong suffering.
We call on all Gambians and by extension the broader international community to hold The Gambia government accountable for its wanton and criminal endangering of the lives of the gallant prisoners of conscience they are unjustly holding on to. To injure and willfully deny medical attention to a state prisoner resulting in death or prolong suffering is evil and contemptible. We demand justice and freedom for the Gambian people and we shall get it sooner or later.
Aji Mariama B. Secka
Deputy Party Leader and Secretary General