There were 461 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 159,609 in the last 365 days.

OHCHR Press Briefing Notes: [...] (3) Gambia, (4) Mauritania


(3) Gambia We deplore the reported death in custody of Ebrima Solo Kurumah, a member of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), last Saturday. According to information we have received, Mr. Kurumah passed away after he was taken to hospital for a surgical operation. He had allegedly been denied medical help on several occasions while in detention.   Mr. Kurumah was among the 30 members of the main opposition party sentenced to three years' imprisonment last July, following their participation in peaceful demonstrations to call for electoral reform and to protest against the death in State custody of the Chairman of the UDP youth wing, Solo Sandeng. Other detainees have also reportedly been denied medical care in recent months.

We urge the authorities to investigate the death in State custody of Mr. Sandeng and Mr. Kuruma as well as allegations that detainees are denied access to medical care.

(4) Mauritania We are concerned at the sentencing last Thursday of 23 people, including 13 members of a prominent NGO that campaigns against slavery, to prison terms ranging from three to 15 years for their alleged role in a riot in June.

The 23 individuals were found guilty by a court in Nouakchott of rebellion, physical assault of police officers, armed assembly and membership of an unrecognized organization.

On 20 June 2016, violent clashes with police forces took place during the eviction of some 400 families from a slum in Nouakchott, many of whom are themselves former slaves. Dozens of people, including 19 police officers, were injured.

We are deeply troubled by allegations that the trial was marred by irregularities and that some of those found guilty were not even present at the June protests. We urge the Mauritanian authorities to quickly review this case and to investigate allegations that some of the defendants were subject to ill-treatment or torture during their pre-trial detention.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).