Musicians in West Africa Condemn Arbitrary Arrests in the Gambia 

September 9, 2019

On August 21, 2019, the Working Group of the Music as a Messenger of Democracy project strongly condemned the arbitrary arrest of Working Group member and activist Ali “Killa Ace” Cham. Cham was detained in relation to July 2019 protests he attended over the death of a market vendor who was reportedly tortured by police and who died shortly after his release. Cham was initially detained on August 17, 2019, before being released on bail. However, he was rearrested on August 27, 2019, and continues to be held without bail at the Mile 2 Central Station.

In addition to charges for unlawful assembly, he is under investigation for arson, in relation to an act of arson that occurred at the protests while Cham was already in a separate location with law enforcement officials. The Working Group believes that this serious, unfounded charge is yet another attempt by the government of the Gambia to silence Cham, an outspoken advocate for fundamental freedoms and government accountability. The World Movement joins the Working Group in calling on the government to drop the charges against Cham immediately and unconditionally. Read the Working Group’s statement here.

The Working Group of the Music as a Messenger of Democracy project is comprised of: the #GambiaHasDecided Movement (Gambia), Team Gomsa Bopa (Gambia), the Togolese Civil League (Togo), Tuwindi (Mali), Yen A’ Marre (Senegal), and YIAGA AFRICA (Nigeria).