IMAM CHERNO GASSAMA’S DETENTION CLOCKS 134 DAYS

Abdoulie G. Dibba

Today, March 14, 2016, marks 134 days of the detention, without court appearance or charge, of Imam Cherno Gassama of Dasilami in Lower Fulladou West District, Central River Region (CRR).

It was reported earlier 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 from Brikamaba police station.

According to a family source, when the Imam arrived at the police station, he was detained briefly before being finally taken to Janjanbureh prison on the same day. He is still detained for 134 days as at today.

“We are not told about the reason for his arrest and long detention without charge or court appearance,” added the source.

A member of his mosque congregation said they are appealing to the authorities to release the Imam so as to enable him to lead in the current reconstruction works of their mosque.

The Imam’s family also joined in the appeal for the release of their loved one to reunite with his family after this long period of detention.

Imam Gassama’s detention is in violation  of Section 19 Subsection (3)(b) of the constitution of the second republic which states that “Any person who is arrested or detained… who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court and, in any event, within seventy-two hours”.