By Mustapha Jallow
Some persons arrested as from 1 November 2016 are still detained and there have been new arrests and detentions since the president made his statement last week that he was issuing an executive order that nobody should be arrested or prosecuted on an act or omission in the pre and post electoral period from Nov 1, 2016. On 14 January 2017 Mustapha Joof was arrested while taking photographs and on the same day Mr Ousman Ndow, a civilian was arrested and detained at the military barracks contrary to the Armed Forces Act. They are both still detained in contravention of the Constitution which makes it unlawful to detain a person for more than 72 hours.
Omar Malleh Jabang, a businessman, and Bakary Fatty, Agriculture Reporter of Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), are still being held at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul for 68 days and 70 days respectively, despite the announcement made by the outgoing president that all those who were detained from 1 November 2016 onwards would be released.
The families of both Mr. Jabang and Mr. Fatty have been eagerly waiting for and looking forward to the release of their loved ones following the announcement made by Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh on national television last week that all those arrested for political reasons from 1 November 2016 to 31 January 2017 would be released.
Mr. Jabang was picked up in broad daylight at the Abuko Abattoir by three men in plain clothes on Thursday, 10 November, 2016 and held since then without charge or court appearance.
According to a close relative, Mr. Jabang, who was first held incommunicado, has finally been traced to the NIA and that the family was allowed access to be taking food to him. The source also added that their loved one is well but that they are calling for his release to rejoin his two wives and children.
As for Mr. Fatty, he was arrested on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.
When contacted for an update on Mr. Fatty’s fate, Aji Mama Sonko, one of the wives, said their husband is still held at the NIA and that they were allowed any visits him.
Mrs. Sonko said they are calling on the authorities to release their loved one.
Foroyaa will continue to monitor the situation.