Africa

Rights group: Gambia must end brutal crackdown on rights

FILE- In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh arrives for a summit to address a seminar on security during an event marking the centenary of the unification of Nigeria's north and south in Abuja, Nigeria. Gambian activists and politicians have called on West Africa's economic body to take actions against Gambia for its brutal crackdown on rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the run-up to elections later in the year. The calls come as Amnesty International released a report Thursday, June 2, 2016, that says amid opposition protests, peaceful demonstrators and bystanders were beaten and arrested in April and May. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

FILE- In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, file photo, Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh arrives for a summit to address a seminar on security during an event marking the centenary of the unification of Nigeria's north and south in Abuja, Nigeria. Gambian activists and politicians have called on West Africa's economic body to take actions against Gambia for its brutal crackdown on rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the run-up to elections later in the year. The calls come as Amnesty International released a report Thursday, June 2, 2016, that says amid opposition protests, peaceful demonstrators and bystanders were beaten and arrested in April and May. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

Gambian activists and politicians have called on West Africa's economic body to take action against Gambia for its brutal crackdown on freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly in the run-up to an election this year.

The calls come as Amnesty International released a report Thursday that outlined violence against those opposing the government. The group says 51 people, including opposition members, await trial and at least 36 others have been detained without charge. It said one opposition leader died in custody.

It said Gambia must comply with the Economic Community Of West African States' protocol on democracy and good governance, and called for its suspension from the body if no progress on human rights is made.

The regional body is holding a summit beginning Saturday.