DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL

REVIEW OF 2016

DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL

We continue with highlighting stories that were published by Foroyaa in 2016 which marked important events and development. We started with detention without trial and disappearance without trace which continued unabated till the end of the year. We continue with this issue in this edition but this time we will focus on those who were released in the course of the year.

RELEASED AFTER 28 DAYS IN DETENTION:

Two members of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), namely SSgt. Samba Jawo and SSgt. Draman Jahateh, who were reported being detained by Military Police (MP) at the Yundum Barracks for 28 days, were finally released on 26 December, 2016 around 7pm.

Asked if there were any charges preferred against them or whether they have been asked to be reporting on bail at the Barracks, the source responded that they were both released unconditionally.

They were arrested on 30 November 2016, said the sister who had said at the time of detention that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) had always said that they do not know anything about the two soldiers.

SSgt. Jawo and SSgt. Jahateh were held incommunicado at the NIA for 16 days before being handed over to the MP at the Yundum Barracks on Thursday, 15 December, around 4pm.

RELEASED AFTER 9 DAYS IN DETENTION:

Kebba Sanneh, a resident of Bakau, was finally released on Sunday, 1 January, 2017 around 1pm, after 9 days incommunicado in the custody of Military Police (MP) at Bakau Barracks.

Fatou Janneh said her son who fell ill while  in detention, was released and brought home by one Njundu Drammeh, the National Coordinator of Child Protection Alliance (CPA), and a senior military in mufti.

Kebba’s mother says that son was picked up on while attending a musical performance at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. She explained that she was told that her son had an altercation with someone who was purported to be a senior military officer in mufti and was eventually arrested by the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) and handed over to the Military Police at the Barracks.

She also told Foroyaa that they were not allowed access to see his son while in detention despite several attempts.

RELEASED AFTER 4 FOUR DAYS IN DETENTION:   Alpha Sey, a resident of Koto Quarry, who was abducted on the 31 December, 2016 while wearing #GambiaHasDecided T-shirt by unidentified personnel in a pickup vehicle near the traffic lights at Kairaba Avenue, was released together with Wandifa and 2 others on 3 January.

Sey, according to eyewitnesses, was forced into a pickup vehicle around 11pm near the traffic lights at Kairaba Avenue on Saturday, 31 December and taken to the NIA headquarters in Banjul where he was held for more than 72 hours before he was released on bail and asked to report on Thursday, 5 January.

RELEASED AFTER 6 DAYS IN DETENTION: Lamin Cham, alias ‘Lang Boy Cham’, a taxi driver and ‘Traffic Show’ presenter at West Coast radio, has been released on bail from the Brusubi police station, on 23 November, 2016, after 6 days in detention without court trial.

Shortly after his release, he told Foroyaa that he was freed on bail at 2pm and that on 23 November at around 10am, he will start reporting on bail at the said station.

He was arrested and detained at the station since on Friday, 18 November. A family source said while they were at home, Lang Boy received a phone call from an unknown caller. “He answered to the call but we did not know what he was discussing with the caller. When we asked him who that caller was, he told us that he will be back soon but he never returned,” she stated.
RELEASED AFTER 71 DAYS INCOMMUNICADO:  an apprentice, Lamin Sarjo, who was arrested alongside UDP sympathizers has been released after 71 days incommunicado detention without charge.

The 18-year old apprentice-Lamin Sarjo, was amongst 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 19 other members.

He was said to be a nephew and apprentice of Malang Sarjo, a commercial ‘gele gele’ driver, who was part of those UDP supporters who were released on bail on 30 June at the police headquarters in Banjul.

RELEASED AFTER 319 DAYS INCOMMUNICADO: An ex-agent of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Madikeh Faal, was released on 20 December, 2016, around 4pm, after being unlawfully held incommunicado for 319 days at the maximum security wing in Mile Two prison.

His wife, Mrs. Fatou Mboob-Faal said that some agents went to the prison and picked him up and took him to the NIA headquarters where he was freed.

Mr. Faal, a resident of Sinchu-Alagie, was arrested and detained since Wednesday, 17 February, 2016.

While in detention, his wife, Mrs. Mboob-Faal had made several attempts to have access to him at the prison but they were all along denied access. She explained that when they visited the prison, they were told by the prison wardens that “they wouldn’t allow any family member to visit him there, until they get order from the top to do so.”

Furthermore, she said that Mr. Faal’s arrest started on 15 February when he received a phone call from the NIA director asking him to go to their headquarters in Banjul to submit some court documents. She said her husband then complied and that after submitting the documents he returned home on that same day.

She added two days later, her husband was invited again around mid-day by the previous caller to the NIA.

Before joining the NIA in 2006, Mr. Faal had served in the Gambia Armed Forces for twelve (12) years. He then served the NIA for eight (8) years. He later bought a vehicle and started working as a taxi driver to earn income to support his entire family.

RELEASED AFTER 9 MONTHS INCOMMUNICADO:  Abdou Jammeh, commonly known as Anabi, a prison officer and a native of Kanilai, has been finally released after detention at Mile 2 Central Prisons for 9 months.

The Wife of Abdou Jammeh, Serreh Jarjue, told this reporter that, her Husband Abdou Jammeh was released on Monday night 3 October 2016.

Serreh Jarjue, the wife of Mr. Jammeh and the mother of their three children, told Foroyaa that her husband left home on a Tuesday, in January, this year, to go to work at Mile Two Prisons on an afternoon shift but never returned home.

“I made several attempts to meet my husband since his detention but it never materialised,” said Madame Jarjue.

By extension, she said she even made attempts to meet the Director General of Prisons on the issue of her husband but without success.

She further stated that during the course of the detention of her husband, she and her children went through a lot of difficulties.

“I am not working, my kids and I depend wholly and solely on my husband. We only have food if our neighbours spare us with some,” she lamented.

She said life became so hard for her and the children until two of them who were going to school had to stop their schooling, because they were attending private schools which she cannot afford to pay.

She said, she is feeling so sad because the current health condition of her husband has been very bad since he was released.

“It’s painful because my husband was healthy and now he is sick since his release,” she lamented.

She said her husband is experiencing pain on his ribs and legs.

Abdou (Anabi) Jammeh  

TO BE CONTINUED