After Nearly 7 Years In Unlawful Detention Kanilai Native Freed
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Nearly seven years after his arrest, Alfusainey Jammeh, a native of President Yahya Jammeh’s birth village of Kanilai, has been released on Friday August 17, The Daily News can reliably report.
Alfusainey Jammeh, a prison warden, was arrested since October 19, 2005. His family has confirmed that he has never been taken to any court of law, neither has he been charged with an offence.
The Gambia’s state authorities had persistently denied knowledge of his whereabouts. Jammeh however showed up in public last month. It was the first time since his arrest.
This was after his wife, Mariama Colley, took the matter to the High Court in Banjul.
Mrs Jammeh, after narrating the trauma she was going through as a result of her husband’s unlawful detention, requested for her husband’s release from Mile 2.
She said: “My husband has never been taken to any court of law in The Gambia and charged with an offence. He continues to be held in indefinite detention against his will,” she says in a 12-page affidavit read on her behalf by her defense lawyer, Moses Richards.
“As a housewife with 3 children who are in their formative years, and no assistance from anyone, I am finding it difficult and sometimes impossible to pay my children’s school fees, provide them with food, clothing, shelter and medical care.”
The court further heard that “the detention of Mr Jammeh has been brought by some person exercising a discretionary power, administrative or otherwise, which may be exercised wrongly.”
Mrs Jammeh then urged the court to free Mr Jammeh from “the bondage of illegality under which he and his family have belabored for six years and more.”
Meanwhile, this submission was made almost a month before the release of Mr Jammeh.
However, family sources confirmed that he was not released on a court’s order.
Infact, Alfusainey Jammeh was one among a dozen plus Gambians, whose whereabouts remain unknown to their families, several years since their alleged arrest by state authorities. They include a journalist, political activists, soldiers, and even ordinary citizens. Haruna Jammeh, who is believed to be an extended family brother to President Jammeh, and Jasaga Kujabie, all from Foni Kanilai, are said to be in detention since 2005.
Foroyaa Newspaper’s Fabakary B Ceesay, who publishes regular update on what he calls “Detention Without Trial, and Disappearance Without Trace”, says he was happy with the release of Mr Jammeh.
Journalist Ceesay, who doubles as the secretary general of the country’s human rights journalists body said: “I feel vindicated. When reporting on such issues, often times you go to the state authorities, and they would deny knowledge of their whereabouts...”