first_imgBy Mustapha Jallow The family of Alhagi Ousman Sawaneh, the Imam of Kanifing South Mosque, has sued the state for his release from incommunicado detention at the remote Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR), where he has been held for 155 days, a source revealed.According to the family source the long detention of their loved one has affected the entire family members and they have now decided to take the matter to the high court to seek for his release. The source added that that there were two proceedings, on 2 and 16 March, 2016, but that the state failed to appear in court on both occasions. The case has been adjourned till today 21 March, at 2 pm. ‘‘We want our loved one to be released from prison since the 72 hours limit has exceeded and he has not been taken to court, we tried all means to have access to him but we were not allowed to see him where he is presently held in CRR,’’ a family source laments. Earlier reports have indicated that Imam Sawaneh was detained without charge or trial at various detention centres ending up at the remote prison in the CRR. Family sources say that they are distraught due to the long incommunicado detention of their husband and father. They say they do not know what the Imam has done to warrant his long detention. Family members have expressed their concern over the state of his health and psychological condition as they do not know under what condition he is being held in prison. According to the family, Imam Sawaneh was picked up by unidentified men in civilian clothes around 10 am on Sunday, 18 October, 2015, while leading a team of workers 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 to Janjangbureh Prison in the Central River Region (CRR) on the 27th October, 2015. Detaining a person for 155 days is inconsistent with section 19 of the 1997 Constitution of the Second Republic of the Gambia which states that “Any person who is arrested or detained… who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court of law and, in any event, within 72 hours.”last_img read more

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