By Mustapha Jallow
Alhagi Ousman Sawaneh, an Imam of Kanifing South, is still in detention for 217 days now at the remote Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR), a family source told this medium.
According to the family, Imam Sawaneh is neither released nor allowed access to his family.
“We have submitted all the documents that were required by those detaining our loved one in order to secure his release but he is yet to return home and we don’t know what to do now, especially after the court ordered for his release,” said a desperate family member.
It was earlier reported that the Imam was arrested by men in civilian clothes around 10 am on Sunday, 18 October, 2015 while he was engaged with a team of volunteers in clearing the grass at the Kanifing South cemetery.
However, sources revealed that his whereabouts were not initially known to the family as they went searching for him at some of the possible places of detention. He was later traced to National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul.
“Imam was held incommunicado at the NIA for some days before being finally transferred to the remote Janjangbureh prison in the hinterland,” according to the family source.
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.