By Mustapha Jallow
At least 17 women farmers from Mbayen in Niamina East were yesterday, 22nd July, 2014, arrested and detained by the Police at Jarreng in the Central River Region (CRR) of the Gambia. However, 5 of the women among the detainees were later released to allow them to go and prepare meals for breaking fast but they were replaced by their husbands who are held behind bars.
According to our sources, the five women who were released are Haddy Mbye, Fatou Mbye, Jarra Mbye, Fanta Mbye and Rohiatou Jobe. The five men who replaced their wives are: Momodou Mbye, Batch Mbye, Demba Mbye, Babucarr Mbye and Abdou Secka. The12 women who were still held in police custody at Jarreng Police Station at the time of going to press are: Ramatta Mbye, Awa Ceesay, Jay Mbye, Jainaba Jeng, Hoja Mbye, Ada Ceesay, Gamu Mbye, Sohna Mbye, Yassin Boye, Aramata Mbye, Chibu Mbye and Jay Ceesay.
The women were arrested around 10am yesterday while they were cultivating a rice field they claim to own. According to CRR Police Commissioner, Ebrima Cham, the arrest of the women was effected after they breached an order of the district tribunal by cultivating land beyond the portion allocated to them by the tribunal. He added that he had given instructions for the arrested women to be released on bail after their cautionary statements had been taken.
At the time of going to press, the detainees were still held at the police station. Foroyaa will continue to monitor the situation.