13 December 2012

Gambia: What Wrong Has Imam Baba Leigh Done?

Photo: Facebook
Imam Baba Leigh, jailed in the Gambia by the regime of Yahya Jammeh.


We are very much concerned about the continuing detention of the prominent Islamic scholar and imam, Imam Baba Leigh.

While we are not out to defend the detained imam for whatever wrong he might have committed, if any, we must emphasize that his human rights must be respected.

As a religious leader, Imam Leigh is one of the few Muslim elders who are well respected by his peers and Muslims in the country.

Ever since his arrest last Monday, Imam Baba Leigh was reportedly denied access by family members and lawyers.

We are worried about the plight of the detained Kanifing Estate mosque imam, since his continued detention, without being brought before a court, is not in line with the Gambian constitution.

Since we are required to protect and defend the constitution, which is a duty for all Gambians, it is for this reason that we add our voice in calling for a stop to his continuing detention incommunicado.

The 1997 Constitution of The Gambia states that no one should be detained for more than 72 hours without appearing before a court or be released on bail.

So, the question that comes to mind is - are those detaining the preacher violating the supreme law of the land?

If so, then this is another very unfortunate development, especially in a country where the government talks a lot about the rule of law; and in a country which is said to be a democratic society where human rights are supposed to be protected.

Finally, we want to remind those working for the state agencies that arrest and detain people that they have also sworn to defend and protect the constitution.

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