By Mustapha Jallow
Alhaji Dembo Bojang, the National President of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has confirmed that 36 supporters of their party were arrested and detained by the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) since 9 May 2016 without charge or access to their relatives.
Mr. Bojang revealed this in an interview with this reporter yesterday 18 May at the residence of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, UDP leader, on Kairaba Avenue yesterday.
According to the UDP National President, these supporters were from Banjul en route to the Kombos on board a vehicle when they were stopped on the way and then driven away into custody to an unknown destination.
“They were taken away in the same transport they were boarding and we do not know where they are currently being held,” he disclosed.
However, the UDP National President said they have made several visits to some of the known detention centres within the Kanifing Municipality in search of them but to no avail.
Mr. Bojang said except Buya Touray, the only woman among these 36 supporters, the others are all men who were arrested on the same day and time with the six women who are presently on trial at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.
“Some of our supporters were seriously beaten and sustained injuries,” said Mr. Bojang.
Below are the names of the 36 UDP supporters who were arrested on 9 May 2016 and subsequently detained incommunicado at an unknown place: Modou Sarr from Banjul, Mustapha Ceesay from Tallinding, Jerreh Fatty from Sukuta Nema, Juntar Touray from Madiana, Kabiro Suwaneh from Madiana, Momodou Njie from Madiana, Sheriffo Kinteh from Madiana, Lamin Dampha from Madiana, Tombong Njie from Jiffarong, Buya Touray (female) from Dobo, Sheriffo Jobe from Batelling, Abdou Chatty from Brikama, Babucarr Thomas from Tujering, Sheriffo Suno from Coastal Road, Bakary Cham from Kunnony Numu-Kunda, Bakary Janneh from Wellingara, Solo Koroma from Sandou, Junkung Jabbi from Niani Bakadaji, Sarjo Ceesay from Sololo, Malang Sarjo from Mandinary, Musa Marong from Mariama-Kunda, Babanding Yarboe from Bambako, Essa Dampha from Mandinary, Sanusi Sanyang from New Jeshwang, Pa Landing Jobe from Tallinding, Bakary Marong from Brikama Madina, Kemo Touray from Brikama Madina, Wuday Mass from Brikama, Njaga Krubally from Sanchaba Touba, Omar Sonko from Bakoteh, Mbemba Jawneh from Kunting, Daddy Ebrima Keita from Kanifing South, Alagie Saidykhan from Sey-Kunda (Bakou), Magie Saidykhan from Sey-Kunda (Bakau), Baboucar Marong from Brikama Madina, and Lamin Singhateh.
“We’re concerned and worried about this large number of our supporters being held in detention without due process of law. We are therefore appealing to the authorities that we want our supporters to be released or taken to court as the 72 hours constitutional limit for the detention of individuals without charge has exceeded and their continuous detention is violating their rights,” said the UDP National President.
It was earlier reported in this medium that on 9 May some UDP supporters were arrested around 5 pm by the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) near their headquarters on the Banjul-Serekunda highway in Kanifing. This incident occurred immediately after the end of the proceedings of the case involving Ousainou Darboe, the UDP leader and other party members, which was held earlier in Banjul on the same day.
When this reporter contacted the police PRO, ASP Lamin Njie yesterday to enquire about the arrests and detention of these 36 UDP supporters and why they were not arraigned or released, he promised to find out and get back to us today.