Continues Detention of Imam Fofana is Unconstitutional
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Some newspapers that have earlier reported that he was under arrest are equally worried. This is because in pursing the matter, they have found the attitude of the police authorities very unhelpful. The Gambia Police Force denied having anything to do with the matter and the NIA, in their typical fashion, denied knowledge of the whereabouts of Imam Fofana.
This is despite the fact that Ba-Kawsu is confirmed to have been taken at the latter, after he was picked up in Brikama. In fact, some of his belongings, including a copy of the Holy Qur’an, and cell phone were returned to the family.
Yet, the worry is justified. As we have witnessed in the past when people were arrested and taken away by people believed to be state security agents, only for them to disappear for good. The list cannot be exhausted here. It undoubtedly requires a whole Master’s thesis for one to do justice in cataloguing such cases.
Notable however, are the cases of Chief Ebrima Manneh, a journalist, and Kanyiba Kanyi, a political activist. Some lucky ones were the likes of Ousman Jatta alias Rambo, as well as the five soldiers, who after spending over one year under the custody of security agents who denied knowledge of them, eventually showed up after a painful campaign.
However, this time round with the overwhelming evidence available to link the state to the arrest and detention of Ba-Kawsu, this cannot be another case of a missing Gambian. The constitution of The Gambia, which is the supreme law of the land, does not discriminate against any person, when it makes it illegal for the state to detain a suspect beyond 72 hours period.
Any person suspected of a crime shall within 3 hours after his arrest be informed the reason for his arrest and should either be taken to court by the elapse of the 72 hours period or released. Therefore, the continues detention of Imam Fofana is unconstitutional.
Author: Daily news