By Mustapha Jallow
In a continued violation of the high court order for his conditional or unconditional release since 21 March, the state is still holding Alhagi Ousman Sawaneh, the Imam of Kanifing South, for 197 days incommunicado at the remote Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR).
According to a family source, immediately following the high court order for his release, they had submitted all the documents being demanded from them but their loved one is still being held by the State without any legal justification.
The source said that they want the government to tell them the fate of their loved one who is denied access to his family, adding that they are weary of waiting for his release as they are being asked by the authorities to do.
“We want them to respect the decision of court and release our father to enable him to reunite with his family after a long absence,” the source added.
It could be recalled that Imam Sawaneh was picked up by unidentified men in civilian clothes around 10 am on Sunday, 18 October, 2015, while leading a team of volunteers to clear the grass in the Kanifing South Cemetery. His whereabouts were not initially known to the family but he was later traced to the NIA headquarters in Banjul. He was later transferred from the NIA to CRR Prison on the 27th October, 2015, where he is currently held, according to the family.
The family however filed a writ of habeas corpus at the high court and the court ordered for his release. Since then, the authorities are yet to release him, contrary to the court order.