By Mustapha Jallow
Six soldiers have been kept in detention for months without due process or access to legal representation in violation of section 19 of The Gambia Constitution 1997.
Authorities have failed to follow the normal procedure of the constitution that when a person is arrested he/she should be brought before a magistrate without unnecessary delay and in any case not beyond 72 hours.
Although, family members have been allowed visits to their loved ones they often narrate the trauma and economic hardship they endure due to the absence of their breadwinners.
20 months In Detention without Trial: Mr. Ismaila Jammeh, a Warrant Officer Class 1 (WOC1) is still detained at Yundum Barracks without seeing a prosecutor or lawyer.
His family has stated earlier that they never received any explanation why their loved one is been kept in a military cell without release or being brought before court.
Immediately closing from work, WOC1 Jammeh, a resident of Kotu was later phoned by one Captain Alagie Njie who asked him to return to work. Upon arrival he got arrested and was put in a cell at the Yundum Barracks on Friday, 17 March 2017, at around 1pm.
20 months In Detention without Trial: Pa Amadou Sanneh, Warrant Officer Class 1 (WOC1) also a native of Kartong, has been held in a military cell at Fajara Barracks without seeing the face of a judge in a courtroom.
He was picked up by the military on 18 March 2017. He spent weeks at Yundum Barracks before being moved to another detention cell in Fajara Barracks, where he is currently held.
21 Months In Detention without Trial: A resident of Hamza Barracks, Warrant Officer Class 1 (WOC1) Alieu Jeng, is still under detention without trial. The 72 hours deadline has elapsed but the military man is languishing behind bars.
The ex-vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy’s bodyguard was picked up by the military police and taken to Fajara Barracks. He spent days there before being transferred to Yundum Barracks.
21 Months In Detention without Trial: Lieutenant Malick Jatta, a Commissioned Officer of Gambia Armed Forces, also a resident of Tujereng has been under military cell for 21 months without any court trial.
It could be recalled that the commissioned officer had spent 4 months in a cell at Yundum Barracks but he was later transferred to Fajara Barracks in July 2017, to continue his detention.
Jatta was also picked up by personnel of the military police on 8 February 2017; the officer has never seen a judge nor released.
21 Months In Detention without Trial: Staff Sergeant Amadou Badjie, a native of Foni and Staff Sergeant Omar aka ‘Oya’ Jallow were picked up by the military police on 27
February 2017. The two are yet to know their fate as they are held without any legal action and that has violated section 19 of the 1997 Constitution.
The two were also detained at Yundum Barracks for months and later moved to Fajara Barracks in July 2017, to continue their detention.