DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL, DISAPPEARANCE WITHOUT TRACE CONTINUES

DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL

 

By Mustapha Jallow

The arrests, unlawful detention without trial and disappearance without trace still continue unabated in The Gambia as many people such as government officials, religious leaders, household heads, young people, etc. are being held incommunicado and without charge or court appearance since their abduction or arrest.

These long arrests and detentions without charge, trial or access to family members are in gross violation of the second republican constitution and amounts to impunity. Some of these detainees have spent months while others have disappeared for more than a decade now without any trace by their families, as some are held at different places of detention such as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Police headquarters, Mile Two prison in the outskirts of Banjul and Janjanbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR).

The affected families left behind have confirmed and catalogued the trauma, hardship and devastation that the continued absence of their heads have brought to them. Mothers, wives, children, siblings, uncles, aunts, and other dependents of detained family heads continue to appeal to the authorities to release their loved ones for the sake of justice, as their human rights are being violated, and also the families who are experiencing economic hardships due to the absence of their sole breadwinners.

Below is the long but inexhaustible list of the detained or disappeared persons, who were usually picked up by men in plain clothes who would come to their homes at ‘ungodly’ hours and in pick up vehicles with tinted glasses and then whisk them away to unknown destinations to commence their long and agonizing detentions without access to their families:

IN DETENTION FOR 52 DAYS: A member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), MODOU SARR, who was arrested 9 May 2016 by the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), is still under detention and was not part of those who were released recently among the 36, according to a family source.

According to a brother to Mr. Sarr their loved one has not returned home since then; adding that they thought that he would be part of those who were released but he was not. ‘‘We don’t know anything about his whereabouts and are receiving information that he is held at CRR prison,’’ he said.

Ajaratou Mberry Sarr, an elder sister to Mr. Sarr, who is ill and bedridden, earlier told this reporter at her residence in Banjul that they have not seen him since he left home on that fateful Monday and still do not know his whereabouts.

“We were only told that he was arrested on the way while going to the Kombos but have not heard from him since then and his wife is very worried as she does not know the whereabouts of her husband,” she said. She also said that Mr. Sarr is nursing an injury on one of his legs and needs treatment.

“I’m really concerned about his present state of health in detention and whether he is getting the necessary treatment from those holding him. He also left home putting on only one shirt and trouser which needs to be changed,” said the elder sister.

She said they want those who are detaining Mr. Sarr to let the family know where he is being held and to allow them access to bring clean clothes and toiletries to him at his place of detention and to release him.

The National President of the UDP had earlier stated that 36 of their supporters were arrested by the PIU around Kanifing on 9 May while en route to the Kombos from Banjul after the court appearance of their party leader and other members of the UDP on that day. Mr. Sarr is among the 36 UDP supporters who were arrested on this day and held incommunicado since then.

 

IN DETENTION FOR 80 DAYS: Dembo Darboe,  alias ‘Touray Darboe,’ was reported been arrested by agents of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) at his residence in Kafuta since April 16, 2016 and taken to their headquarters in Banjul, where he is still under detention for 80 days now.

A relative of ‘Touray Darboe’ recently remarked: “We were really expecting his release since before the start of the month of Ramadan as he has not been charged or brought before a court. This expectation was even very high when we heard about the release of those people who were charged and taken to court. Unfortunately, he is still being held incommunicado and the family still does not know why he is detained.’’

The family continued to plead with the authorities for the release of their loved one, ‘Touray’ Darboe, for the sake of his state of health as he has a history of mental illness.

Both the wife and ailing mother of ‘Touray’ Darboe have also added their voices calling for his release.

IN DETENTION FOR 52 DAYS: An 18 year old Lamin Sarjo, is still held at Janjanbureh Prison in CRR. He is a nephew and apprentice of Malang Sarjo who was part of those UDP members who were released on 30 June at police headquarters in Banjul.

18 year old Sarjo was part of the 36 supporters who were arrested by the PIU around Kanifing on 9 May while en route to the Kombos from Banjul after attending a court trial of the UDP leader and other members.

IN DETENTION FOR 52 DAYS: Alagie Saidykhan, who is said to be mentally ill and residing in Bakau was not part of those who were released recently and the family, confirmed that he is still held incommunicado.

Speaking to Foroyaa, Saja Sonko an uncle to the detainee, said that Saidykhan is not released and that they do not know the reason why he is not. He added that the long detention of Alagie has caused serious financially suffering to his wife which has motivated some UDP members to send money for her support and their siblings.

It was reported that Mr Sonko, (the uncle) said he personally visited the PIU and Mile Two prison but he was told by the officers he met there that Alagie is not under their custody.

Mr. Sonko also stated that mental illness attacks him from time to time and on that fateful Monday, 9 May, Alagie went to Banjul to take his medicine at the clinic. ‘‘We are really concerned about his state of health and recently his wife had delivered a baby girl and we have done the naming ceremony at Jarra in his absence. His wife is in a sad situation and very desperate about her husband. It’s almost one month now we cannot have access to talk to him or take food for him,’’ Alagie’s uncle explained.

IN DETENTION FOR 261 DAYS:  Alhagi Ousman Sawaneh, the Imam of Kanifing South, 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 Janjangbureh Prison on the 27 October, 2015.

According to family sources, 2 men in civilian clothes came to their house and asked for the Imam, adding that they told the said men that Imam Sawaneh had gone to the Cemetery. They then requested for his phone number which was given to them. “After giving them the number, they left and did not disclose to us what their mission was but an eyewitness who was with the imam at the cemetery came and told us that he saw him being approached by two men who asked to see him in private and later went with him. We then called his cell phone but it was switched off and that was the time we began searching for him until he was finally traced to the NIA. He is now currently held incommunicado at Janjanbureh prison in the Central River Region (CRR),’’ family sources revealed.

A family source said that they were hoping that their loved one would be released before the commencement of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as the court had already ordered the state to do so. He is still held incommunicado without access to family members.

With the filing of a writ of habeas corpus by the Imam’s family, the high court in Banjul ordered for the Imam’s release on Monday, 21 March, 2016, either conditionally or unconditionally.

Family members have said they do not know why he is still held in spite of the court order for his release. They have expressed their concerns over the detention of their loved one and are urging the authorities to release him.

IN DETENTION FOR 264 DAYS: Mr Ousman Jammeh, a former Deputy Minister of Agriculture under the regime of President Yahya Jammeh, was removed on Thursday, 15 October, 2015 and arrested and detained on the same day at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul, where he had been held incommunicado for 91 days before being transferred to Mile Two Prison.

Mr Jammeh had left his home on Thursday, 15 October, to officiate the commemoration of World Food Day in Basse, Upper River Region (URR). It was while he was on his way to the event that he received a phone call from an unidentified caller who asked him to cancel his trip and return as he had an urgent meeting to attend at state house. While following the instruction, Mr Jammeh was immediately picked up by men in plain clothes and taken away in his official vehicle to the NIA.

A source disclosed that the two orderlies of Mr Jammeh were escorted by the agents to his family residence in Kanifing South where the news of his arrest was disclosed to his family.

“When we were informed about the sudden arrest and detention of our breadwinner, we then began to search for him and later traced him to the NIA office in Banjul. We visited the NIA on Saturday 17 October 2015 with a bowl of food, clothes and other needs but we were told by agents we met at the reception that food and other items would not be allowed in and we were also not allowed access to him,” said the source.

It was also reported that Mr Jammeh is still being held at Mile Two prison in the maximum security wing without access to his entire family. The family attempted several visits, the latest being Tuesday, 21 June, but to no avail as the prison authorities would not allow them access to him.

“Some family members went there to appeal to the prison authorities to allow them access to at least see and talk to him briefly after having spent nine months in detention but they denied their request,” said the family source.

The source further disclosed that Mr. Jammeh’s mother is traumatised by the long detention and lack of access to her son. “We have been trying everything in order to meet with officials who are close to the president to appeal on our behalf for his release but so far we have not succeeded,” added the source.

The source also revealed the ordeal and agony that the family is going through with the absence of the sole breadwinner and household head especially during this fasting month of Ramadan.

Expressing their concern over the denial of access to him and the refusal to even receive his clothes, a distraught family member said, “We do not know what our loved one has done to warrant his detention and denial of access. His children keep asking for him and we cannot tell them that their dad is arrested. We told them that he has travelled and is yet to come.”

IN DETENTION FOR 264 DAYS:  An Imam of a mosque in Jabang Borehole, Sheikh Omar Colley, was also arrested on the same day as the deputy minister of agriculture on Thursday, 15 October, 2015, and is still held incommunicado at Janjanbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR) without access to his family for 264 days now.

‘‘We were expecting that our brother would be released as the holy fasting month of Ramadan approached so that he can share it with his young family but he is still held and no one knows why he is held. It’s now 9 months and we do not have any access to him, which is really disturbing the entire family members,’’ Imam Colley’s brother said.

According to the brother they were informed that some people who were detained at Janjangbureh prison were taken to police headquarters for their release but that when they went there they couldn’t see him among detainees who were released at the headquarters in Banjul.

Family members of Imam Colley are still pleading with the authorities to release their loved one from detention.

Imam Colley was transferred from Yundum Police Station to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul less than a day after he presented himself there following instructions from a distant caller in Bansang.

A close brother to the detainee revealed that while the Imam was at home he received a telephone call from someone, who claimed to be calling from Bansang Police Station and asking him to report to Old Yundum police station. He said the unknown caller was said to have told Imam Colley to call him with his mobile phone when he reached the station so that he (the caller) could talk to the station officer (SO). He added that this was said to be around the time when the Imam was about to go to the mosque to perform his ‘Maghreb’ (twilight) prayers.

He further explained that they accompanied Mr. Colley to the station and while they were there, their brother called the said caller from Bansang to talk to the police officer they met there. This police officer later asked him to hand over all his personal belongings e.g. mobile phone, wrist watch, rosary beads, etc., and enter into the cell. He said the brother then complied with this police order.

It was also disclosed that when they returned to the station around 7am the next day on Friday, they were told by the police officers they met there that their brother was no longer in their custody. He said the brother was later traced to the NIA headquarters in Banjul, but they were denied access to him while he was held there before his current detention at Janjangbureh Prison.

He said that Imam Colley was held incommunicado at the NIA headquarters in Banjul for 48 days and that while they were making efforts to access him, they received information that the Imam had been transferred from the NIA Headquarters to Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR) without access.

IN DETENTION FOR 247 DAYS:  IMAM of Dasilami in Lower Fulladou West District, Central River Region (CRR), Cherno Gassama, is still under detention without trial at the Janjangbureh Prison in CRR without release or court appearance for 247 days.

According to sources they were not informed of the reason for the arrest and long detention without release or court appearance of their Imam.

Earlier reports indicated that Imam Gassama was arrested on Monday, 2 November 2015, at his residence by an operative of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), who was accompanied by a police officer in uniform from Brikamaba Police Station.

According to eye witnesses when the Imam arrived at the police station, he was briefly held behind bars before being finally taken to Janjangbureh Prison in CRR on the same day.

Family members and members of his mosque congregation have also raised concerns over the detention of their imam and are calling on the authorities to free the Imam so as to enable him to lead prayers in their mosque.

IN DETENTION FOR 675 DAYS:  A former staff of the state telecommunication company, Gamtel/Gamcel, Mr Seedy Jaiteh is still under detention without trial for 675 days at the maximum security wing in Mile Two Prison without access to his relatives.

‘‘Our loved one is yet to be released from detention and since we entered the holy month of Ramadan we were not allowed access to take food for him. We are also worried about his situation in the prison as to whether he has been getting his needs for the holy month of Ramadan,’’ a concerned family source remarked.

According to family sources, Mr. Jaiteh has not returned home since his arrest in 2014 and no single family member knows the reason why he is held up to date or why they have not been allowed to see him at the said prison.

However, the sources added that they are still calling on the authorities to release their loved one as he is described as a responsible man who has wives and children to take care of.

Family members say Mr Jaiteh had been arrested before. In November 2010, he was arrested and detained at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul for days before being released. He was later arraigned before the high court and convicted on 20 October 2012. He was released in February 2014 after he completed serving his jail term.

Sources further explained that Mr. Jaiteh was re-arrested by agents of NIA at his home in Manjai Kunda on 27 August 2014. He was later moved from the NIA to Mile II prison on 3 September 2014.

‘‘In our efforts while searching for him, we were initially allowed to take food to him at the NIA Banjul office but after few days this was stopped as Mr. Jaiteh was said to have been transferred to the Mile Two central prison in the outskirts of the capital, in Banjul,’’ a family source said.

However, family sources disclose that at the time when the president Jammeh announced on 22 July last year that he was going to release some detainees, they were expecting Mr Jaiteh to be among those released, but that they were disappointed; they noticed that he was not among those freed.

DISAPPEARED FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS NOW: A former Military personnel of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), LIEUTENANT EBOU LOWE, who was arrested in 2006 has gone missing since then without any trace of him, a relative said.

According to a family source of the missing ex-military man they have not seen him or received any information that he still held. ‘‘We are still searching or asking people who were close to him so that they can tell us where he is. We would also want the state to do a proper investigation into his whereabouts,’’ said distraught relative. He added that they have been visiting the prison and following the pronouncement of a grant of amnesty by the president, which led to the release of some convicted prisoners and detainees. They went to Mile Two prison on the 24 July 2015, in anticipation that he would be among them; but he was not among those released.

Reports reveal that Lt. Lowe was among the military officers who were arrested in the wake of the 21 March 2006 attempted coup to overthrow the APRC regime. It was later announced by the state owned tv (GRTS) on 4th April 2006 that Lt. Ebou Lowe had escaped with four other security officers while being transferred to Janjangbureh prison in the hinterland but still now none of his entire family members have seen or heard from him.

DISAPPEARED FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS NOW: A Former State House Senior Reporter and Crime Watch Columnist of the Daily Observer Newspaper, Chief Ebrima Manneh, has also gone missing since 2006. It was earlier reported that he was arrested by security agents at his workplace in Bakau and that he was taken to different detention centres in country. His disappearance without trace occurred immediately after the African Union (AU) Summit hosted by The Gambia in Bakau on 7 July.

According to one of his brother they have not set an eye on him since the day he was picked up, adding that they have done everything possible to know his whereabouts but that all their efforts were unsuccessful. He said that they are also appealing to anyone who sees or hears about him to contact his family members immediately.

The father of the missing son, who cries while explaining the situation of his son, said that he would not rest searching or requesting from the government about his whereabouts until he sees him. He added that he would try all his best to mobilise religious leaders to go with him to President Jammeh at his residence in Kanilai to enquire from him about Ebrima Manneh.

Chief Manneh’s aging father has been making frantic efforts in search of his son since inception. He said he first visited all the known security detention centres around the country without any trace of his son and had also approached personalities such as the then NIA Director General, Mr Harry Sambou; the then IGP, Mr. Ousman Sonko; the then State House Imam, Abdoulie Fatty and the Vice President Madam Isatou Njie-Saidy to help in the efforts to trace Chief Manneh, but to no avail. The family is calling on the state to mount an investigation into the disappearance of their loved one, because they are very much traumatised about the disappearance.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) based in Accra, Ghana, filed a suit against the Gambia government at the ECOWAS Court in Abuja, Nigeria on 19 June 2007. The court held several proceedings but since the commencement of proceedings on 16 July 2007, the Government of The Gambia repeatedly failed to appear before the ECOWAS Court after being served with several summons. While the plaintiffs presented two witnesses from The Gambia who testified, the state failed to secure the appearance of senior Police and Military officers who were subpoenaed to testify.

On 5 June 2008, the ECOWAS Court entered judgment in favour of the missing journalist and ordered the Gambian government to release and compensate him an amount of US 100,000 Dollars but still now nothing has been done.

The position of the Gambia Government as expressed by its agents has been inconsistent to say the least. The Gambia government never made any public comment about the missing Journalist until February 2009 when the matter of Chief Manneh was raised in Parliament by the then Minority leader Momodou Sanneh. The then Justice Minister Mrs. Marie Saine Firdaus stated that Chief Manneh has never been in state custody and described MFWA’s move as premature as they did not exhaust local remedies in Gambian courts before going to the ECOWAS level.

However, her successor Mr. Edward Gomez, told Daily News, that Chief Manneh was still alive but failed to give any supportive evidence about his claims. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Yankuba Sonko at the time also told a local newspapers that the missing journalist is residing in the United States of America, but he also failed to give provide any evidence.

The Solicitor General, in 2008 told Amnesty International Researchers that the government believed Chief Manneh was abducted as it has been claimed, though nobody from the government had been involved.

DISAPPEARED FOR MORE THAN 3 YEARS NOW: ALHAGIE MAMUT CEESAY and EBOU JOBE, who are two US citizens of Gambian descent, were reported missing on Saturday, 22 June 2013 in Brusubi while on holiday in The Gambia. The disturbed family members of the two US citizens are dissatisfied with the lack of progress as they are yet to trace their whereabouts or to secure their immediate release.

The two were abducted from the same apartment at Brusubi on the same day. According to family sources the duo came to The Gambia with the intention of investing in a cashew export business.

According to a release issued by the Ceesay family, Alhagie and Ebou came to The Gambia to invest and contribute to the Gambian economy. The two had a lease agreement for the office space which they rented while in The Gambia.

Mr. Ceesay is said to have completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington (Seattle) and later worked for Chevron Texaco for 11 years as an Infrastructure systems analyst. He recently obtained his MBA in 2013. He is married and has two children.

As for Mr. Jobe, he is said to have graduated from the University of Washington and worked at Wal-Mart as an Operations Manager. He is also married and has three children.

A family source has indicated that the police have been informed and are fully aware of the disappearance of the duo but are yet to come up with any findings regarding their whereabouts.

The US government has been pursuing the matter with the Gambia Government and did raise the matter at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

A former US Charge d’Affaire said at a press conference in 2014 that, “As far as I know, they were picked up and disappeared and we have asked the Gambia Government to investigate.”

He disclosed that they have even offered the services of the FBI to help in locating these two US citizens and added that they will leave no stone unturned in searching for their nationals.

DISAPPEARED FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS NOW: A native of Jarra who was residing in Bonto village in Kombo East of the West Coast Region (WCR) and a former staff of the Christian Children Fund, (now Child Fund The Gambia), MR. LAMIN KANYI (ALIAS KANYIBA KANYI), was abducted in the Gambia on 18th September 2006 by men in plain clothes believed to be security agents, including a police officer in uniform in the presence of his family.

According to a family source they don’t know whether Kanyiba is still alive or not. ‘‘Both his father and brother had passed away and he has not witnessed any of the burials or 40 Days charity because he was abducted by the agents and nobody knows if he has also passed away or not. His father died because he has been under stress due to the abduction of his son,’’ he lamented.

He added that this is the greatest sadness they had ever encountered, adding that their family has been in turmoil since Kanyiba was whisked away.

According to eyewitnesses, Lamin Kanyiba was abducted around 9:00pm by three men who demanded to see him in camera; that Kanyiba then asked them to identify themselves and their mission which they refused to disclose. “The said men in plain clothes then called a taxi driver who was some metres away from the scene. Within a twinkle of an eye, the taxi driver arrived, Kanyiba was forcefully pushed into the taxi and then whisked away in full view of his family, leaving the wife and family in tears,” said a family member.

Another family source disclosed that shortly after Kanyiba was whisked away, his younger brother was also arrested and detained overnight at the Serious Crime Unit (SCU) at the Police headquarters in Banjul but was later released. The family source says that they have been traumatized and are seriously affected by the abduction and disappearance of their loved one since 2006.

Sources add that at the time of Kanyiba’s forced disappearance, his wife was pregnant and later delivered a baby girl who is now 10 years old and attending school.

It was further revealed that Kanyiba’s aging father died shortly after a visit to Kanilai to request for an audience with President Jammeh, audience he was unable to obtain.

His family members also filed a writ of “Habeas Corpus’ at the high court but he was not produced before the court neither was he released contrary to the court order.

DISAPPEARED FOR MORE THAN 11 YEARS NOWMr. Lamin Tunkara, a native of Kinteh-Kunda Marong Kunda in the Central Baddibu District of the North Bank Region (NBR), was arrested on 21st July, 2005, by a combined team, comprising the CID (police), NIA agents and plain clothes officers, behind Albert Market in Banjul. Since then he is nowhere to be seen or heard of, up to date.

The family members earlier reported that Mr Tunkara’s house in Tallinding was ransacked by the said security agents who confiscated foreign denominations – CFA, US Dollars and Euros and Dalasi as well.

He was detained at the Police headquarters in Banjul for few days and later at the Kairaba Police Station. His family said while in detention, he was accused of being an agent facilitating the journey of nationals through the “back way” to Spain.

Since he was last seen at Kairaba Police Station up till now family members have no clue of his whereabouts.

DISAPPEARED FOR 10 YEARS: Three close friends, ALHAGIE MOMODOU LAMIN NYASSI, ex-Chief of Foni Kansala District, NDONGO MBOOB and ALHAGIE BUBACARR SANYANG, District Coordinator of APRC in Foni Kansala, all natives of Bwiam in the West Coast Region, have gone missing and never returned home since their arrest by men in plain clothes including senior police officers in 2006.

A family member of the ex-chief Momodou Lamin Nyassi says that to their surprise their loved one was not among those released when amnesty was granted and a lot of prisoners were released last year. He said they still have no information about him and do not know whether he is still alive or not. He added that when they discovered that no progress was being made they decided to approach the security chiefs and other government officials to talk to the President to free their father. Sources say that they have visited both General Saul Badjie and Asobi Bojang so that they can approach President Yahya Jammeh but that all their efforts are in vain.

According to sources, ex-chief Momodou Lamin Nyassi, Ndongo Mboob and Bubacarr Sanyang were first arrested in 2004 and briefly held at Janjangbureh Prison in CRR but were later released.

He added that the ex-chief was re-arrested in 2005 by men in plain clothes and later arraigned at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court where he was convicted and fined D20,000 which was immediately paid by his family members. He was then set free.

However, sources say that both the ex-chief and Mboob were re-arrested by plain clothes officers including the station officer (S/O) at Sibanor Police Station on Tuesday evening, 4 April, 2006, whilst conveying his friend, Ndongo Mboob, who visited his house and that the ex-chief told the said men to allow him to hand over his phone cell to the family. He said immediately after his arrest, they visited the said Sibanor Police station as they recognised the station officer who came for their father. They were told by the officers that their loved one was not under their custody and they then returned home till the next day to continue the search for him.

‘‘On the next day, we visited all known security detention centres in The Gambia, including Mile II Central Prisons, Janjanbureh Prison, NIA detention centre in Banjul and the Police headquarters, but we couldn’t trace him and we do not know the condition in which he is held or whether he is still alive. In fact his grandsons and daughters are all grown ups now,’’ he said.

The relatives of the disappeared persons told this reporter that they are traumatized and desperate to see their loved ones.

Bubacarr Sanyang (alias Bubai), a District Coordinator of 22nd July Movement in Foni Kansala, was also first arrested in 2004 while attending a community ‘Gamo’ (a muslim religious gathering for prayer, preaching and recitation of the Qur’an). ‘‘We were at the ‘Gomo’ when some men in civilian clothes came and told him that he was needed at a meeting in Basse. He was then picked up. We were wondering because we did not see him for 3 days but he was later released,’’ said a family source.

However, in 2006 he was re-arrested from his house (on the same day as with the chief and Mboob) by three NIA operatives who informed him that he was wanted by someone in higher authority. The family said Bubai had just finished performing the ‘Maghrib’ prayer when the men came for him. They said Bubai had handed over his mobile phones to one of his wives at that juncture, and then the men whisked him away, adding that up to date they don’t know his whereabouts, or have not seen or heard from him.

The family source added that they are calling on the authorities to trace out their loved one.

DISAPPEARED FOR NEARLY 11  YEARS NOW: A native of Dobong village, in the Foni Kansala District, JASARJA KUJABI, has disappeared since Wednesday, 27 July, 2005, after his house was ransacked by men claiming to be NIA agents who came in a numberless Nissan jeep with tinted glasses.

According to a family source when they heard the announcement over the tv that some convicted prisoners would be pardoned they also went to the said prison but that Jasarja was not part of those that were released and that they finally left the place with stress and agony. They added that they have visited well known detention centres but couldn’t trace him and that they had also approached the top security chiefs but all their efforts are in vain.

Family members earlier reported to this medium that they have not seen or heard from him since his disappearance in 2005 and that they are still wondering if their loved one is alive. ‘‘Since he was arrested by the agents, his absence is really disturbing us a lot because we’re facing a serious financial crisis and he was the only financial support of his young family,’’ a family source added.

According to the family, Mr Kujabi was picked up from his farm and then taken to his house for him to change his clothes. The source indicated that he told his family that he was going but that they should not be bothered and that he was soon whisked away. His situation is still unknown to his entire family after 11 years now.

 

 

DISAPPEARED FOR MORE THAN 11 YEARS NOW: HARUNA JAMMEH, a native of Kanilai, has also gone missing in the same evening, as he boarded the same vehicle that came for the arrest of Jisarja. Since then these two are nowhere to be seen or heard of, up to date.