By Mustapha Jallow
Mr. Ousman Jammeh, who served as deputy Minister of Agriculture under the APRC regime, is still languishing in detention at Mile Two prison without trial for 257 days today.
He was removed from the cabinet on the 15 October, 2015 while on his way to officiate the commemoration of World Food Day in Basse, Upper River Region (URR) and apparently asked to return immediately. He has since not been seen by his family as he was later traced at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) before being transferred to Mile Two prison.
According to a close family source, their loved one is still being held without access to them and that on Tuesday, 21 June, they decided to attempt another visit to him at the prison but to no avail. “Some family members went there to appeal to the prison authorities to allow them access to at least see and talk to him briefly after having spent nine months in detention but they denied their request,” said the family source.
The source disclosed that his mother is traumatised by the long detention and lack of access to her son. “We have been trying everything in order to meet with officials who are close to the president to appeal on our behalf for his release but so far we have not succeeded,” added the source.
The source also revealed the ordeal and agony that the family is going through with the absence of the sole breadwinner and household head especially during this fasting month of Ramadan.
“We are still appealing to the authorities to release our loved one,” concluded the family source.
It was earlier reported that. Mr. Jammeh was initially detained at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul for 91 days before being transferred to the central prison at Mile Two, where he is presently being held and denied access to family visits.
The family expressed their worry regarding his state of health under detention, especially his wife and young children who always ask about their father.
His continued detention without trial contravenes section 19 of the Second Republic Constitution (1997) which states that “Any person who is arrested or detained… who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court of law and, in any event, within 72 hours. ”