IMAM SAWANEH STILL HELD FOR 210 DAYS INCOMMUNICADO DESPITE COURT ORDER FOR HIS RELEASE

By Mustapha Jallow

44 days following the high court order for his conditional or unconditional release, the State is still holding Imam Ousman Imam Sawaneh of Kanifing South MosqueSawaneh, of Kanifing South incommunicado for 210 days as at today.

The Imam was arrested around 10 am on Sunday, 18 October, 2015 while engaged with a team of volunteers in clearing the grass at the Kanifing South cemetery.

Initially, his whereabouts were not known to the family after they had frantically searched for him at some possible places of detention but he was eventually traced to National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul.

According to family sources, he was held incommunicado at the NIA for some days before being finally transferred to the remote Janjangbureh prison in the hinterland.

After several failed attempts by his family to visit and secure his release, they finally filed a writ of habeas corpus before Justice Basiru Mahoney of the high court in Banjul and who on the 21 March 2016 ordered for him to be released either conditionally or unconditionally.

The family disclosed that they have submitted all the documents that were required by those detaining Imam Sawaneh in order to secure his release but that he is still being held.

“We don’t know why the authorities are still not complying with the court order to release our loved one from prison to reunite with us,” said a family source.