Monday, December 10, 2012

Gambia: Politician wants activist Imam released immediately

Imam Leigh was arrested last Monday, and is still detained as of yesterday

Mr. Omar Jallow (OJ), the leader of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has called on the authorities to immediately release the Imam of Kanifing East Mosque, Baba Leigh who was arrested on Monday 3rd December 2012. 
“Detaining the outspoken Imam beyond 72 hours and 3 hours without being told of what he is arrested for and not also being charged of a crime is a violation of his fundamental human rights as a citizen of this   country,” he told The Voice in an interview on December 8, 2012.

Mr. OJ, who said the human rights activist religious leader must be immediately released without any further delay, stressed that since the arrest and subsequent detention of Imam Baba Leigh on Monday, no family member(s) or his lawyer has had access to him.

“This is a clear indication of the lack of respect for the Constitution by the APRC regime,” he argued. 
Media reports say the Imam is held at the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in Banjul, but it is still not clear why they are holding him, and it is also unclear if he is to appear in court any time soon.

In September 2012, the outspoken Imam contributed to a "healthy debate" on an August execution of nine death row inmates which was widely regarded as “controversial”. He denounced the executions carried out by The Gambia Government as “Un-Islamic”.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, a high-profile private lawyer Amie Bensouda was granted police bail following her arrest and subsequent detention. 

Sources told The Voice Newspaper that “madam Bensouda was grilled by the Serious Crime Unit of the Police for requesting “access to land case records” at the Office of the Chief Justice.”   

Source: The Voice

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