SHOULD A SOLDIER BE DETAINED WITHOUT TRIAL FOR MORE THAN 72 HOURS?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

The answer to this question is in the negative. A soldier like any other Gambian has a right to be free from arbitrary detention. Section 19 of the Constitution states:

“Any person who is arrested or detained –

(a) for the purpose of bringing him or her before a court in execution of the order of a court; or

(b) upon reasonable suspicion of his or her having committed, or being about to commit, a criminal offence under the law of The Gambia, and who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court and, in any event, within seventy-two hours.”

This is very clear. It affirms that no one should be detained for more than 72 hours without being brought before a court for trial. We therefore hope that the authorities will not allow any soldier or civilian to be detained for more than 72 hours without being taken before a court.