Femi Peters, Campaign Manager for the Gambian opposition United Democratic Party, was arrested during a peaceful demonstration organized by his party on 25 October 2009. He is currently serving a one-year sentence in poor conditions.
The police refused to grant permission for the demonstration, in Serekunda, a city on Gambia’s west coast, on the grounds of threats to national security and fear of violent protests. Femi Peters was charged with “control of procession and control of use of loud speakers
in public” without permission from the Office of the Inspector General of Police, as required under the Public Order Act.
After a trial that lasted several months, Femi Peters was convicted and sentenced on 1 April 2010 to a mandatory jail term of one year and a fine of D10,000 (US$363). Since Femi Peters was on bail prior to the trial, he will be expected to complete his sentence around March 2011. Amnesty International considers Femi Peters to be a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
Femi Peters’ appeal at the High Court was dismissed on 5 August 2010. His lawyer has filed a new appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Concerns have been raised about Femi Peters’ deteriorating health and the poor conditions at Mile 2 prison. He suffers from diabetes and malaria. His family fear that he may not be receiving adequate treatment for either condition, and have also told Amnesty International that they have not been allowed to visit him.
Sign a petition for the Gambian Attorney General and Minister of Justice:
- Stating that Amnesty International considers Femi Peters to be a prisoner of conscience and calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
- Urging that Femi Peters receive adequate and ongoing medical treatment, and that he be allowed access to his family and other visitors.
- Calling on the Gambian authorities to guarantee the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly.