Gov’t’s Blatant Abuse of Power – A Threat to Our Enviable Peace
Friday, June 29, 2012
State securities agents continued to arrest and detain people underambigious circumstances. The arbitrary manner in which people’s fathers, mothers, uncles, husbands, wives, children, among others, are taken away from them is quite disheartening. Some would be detained for several days, months and years, often times without access to a lawyer or their family. In fact, there are tens of families who would report that they do not know the whereabouts of the loved ones believed to be in the hands of the state. Now this is unconstitutional and a violation of human rights, and unfortunately, the state is the perpetrator.
In recent times, everyone witnessed, for instance, how the National Intelligence Agency, blatantly denied detaining imam and scholar, Ba-Kawsu, only for them to release him nine days after his arrest, the reasons for which remain unknown even though the imam has alleged that he was tortured. Moreover, Foroyaa Newspaper on Monday June 25, reported that the two top National Drug Enforcement Agency, who were detained over a month ago, have been released. The same newspaper yesterday reported about the release of the former boss of The Gambia Prison Service, David Colley. These are followed today by a report about the release of a former steward at State House, Ebrima Jarjue who spent 3 years in detention. He was not charged with any crime.
Surely, if the state can detain people and release them after 3 years, how does it expect people to believe them when they denied the detention of Journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh, who would clock 5 years missing this July 7, after his alleged arrest by plain clothes security agents. There are many more others whose families do not know their whereabouts years after their arrest, allegedly, by state security agents.
Gambians deserve to live in their own country without un-called for fears. The prisons exist for wrongdoers and the courts are here to dispense justice, why then should the government resort to unconstitutional means to settle scores with people who might not have wronged anyone, after all? Let The Gambia government be reminded that the greatest threat to our enviable peace and stability is its abuse of power.