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Gambia: Amnesty International demands unconditional release of detained staff

Amnesty International today called for the immediate and unconditional release of its two delegates and a local journalist who was detained with them in the Gambia.

No charges have been brought against the Amnesty International delegates or the journalist.

Tania Bernath, Ayodele Ameen and journalist Yaya Dampha were conditionally released yesterday evening, but they are still not free to leave the Gambia and are currently at the Central Police Station in Banjul, where they had to report back to this morning.

"Our delegates were on a public and official visit to investigate the human rights situation in the Gambia, and the Gambian authorities had been informed of their visit," said Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International's Africa Programme.

"It is completely unacceptable for any government to attempt to impede the work of human rights workers and we are dismayed that our colleagues and the local journalist have not yet been unconditionally released. We are taking this up with the Gambian authorities at a senior level."

The Amnesty International delegates were in the Gambia looking into various long-standing concerns the organisation has about the human rights situation in the country, including conditions of detention, arbitrary arrests and detentions without charge.

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