17 December 2012

Gambia: Why Has Imam Baba Leigh's Family Not Taken Court Action?

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


First and foremost, we heard about Imam Baba Leigh's arrest from an eye witness who could not give an accurate report on what fully transpired. According to him, two people approached the Imam when he was getting ready to have his dinner, round about 10pm, on Monday, 3rd December 2012 and eventually asked him to follow them. He is reported to have been allowed to drive his car. What is clear is that the car is still with those who arrested and detained him. The family appeared relaxed at one point when it was claimed that he was allowed visits at the NIA headquarters.

Now some of the children who used to explain developments are dumbfounded and overwhelmed and speak only with tears in their eyes. They have received so many contradictory advices that they just don't know which course of action is right for them to take. Some would tell them that if they take court action he will be released, while others are telling them that if they do so he will stay longer. They have therefore been driven into a state of uncertainty.

Foroyaa does not want to increase the anxiety of the family by quoting similar cases where judicial intervention was sought. What is clear to us is that there is growing outrage for detention without trial and disappearances of people in the world. Unconstitutional behaviour cannot earn any government international integrity.

After 15 days in detention without court appearance and trial, the rumours about his whereabouts and state of health are spreading like wild fire. The danger with detention without trial is the possibility of illness and death in custody. When that happens, how would a state explain the actions of its agents? This is what leads to cover up and endless vilification. The price of impunity is eternal condemnation and vilification. Why would any Government want to pay such an expensive price for such incidents that achieve the very opposite of what is intended? Foroyaa hopes that sanity will soon prevail and Imam Baba Leigh would be released in a good state of health to be reunited with his family.

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