5 February 2013

Gambia: After Kanyiba Kanyi's Father's Death What Next?


A few metres off the main road at Bonto Village lay the silent and aggrieved home of Mr. Kanyiba Kanyi, a former employee of Christian Children's Fund (CCF), (now Child Fund), who has disappeared from the face of The Gambia after his arrest by 3 men in mufti in the presence of his family since 18 September 2006 and could not be traced since then. The home which used to be very lively is now ruled by silence after Kanyiba's father lay buried in a grave.

Speaking to the family recently, they informed Foroyaa that the father of Kanyiba, Mr. Yaya Kanyi has died at their native village in Jarra Jasong after waiting and praying in vain for the release of any information regarding the whereabouts of his son. The family said since the arrest and disappearance of Kanyiba, his father left no stone unturned in search of his son. They said shortly before he died on 25 November 2012, he kept on praying and pleading to whoever is responsible for the missing of his son for 6 years and 4 months to release him. They said the old man died without seeing or knowing the fate and whereabouts of his eldest son.

Mr. Kanyiba Kanyi, a native of Jarra Jasong in Jarra East, but was residing at Bonto village in Kombo East District of West Coast Region, was arrested at his home by 3 men in mufti' on 18 September 2006, few days before the presidential election. The family said he was whisked away into a waiting taxi brought along by his arrestors, whilst his family looked on. His younger brother Wandifa Kanyi was also arrested on the same evening and spent the night under detention at Serious Crime at Police Headquarters in Banjul, only to be released in the morning without any charge. The time of his arrest, Kanyiba left behind a 3 months pregnant wife who delivered a baby boy, now 5 years and 10 months old. The family lamented their frustration about the son growing to be a young man without knowing his father and his whereabouts.

They reiterated their clarion call for the concerned authorities and whoever is concerned to involve and help participate in their frantic search for the loved one. They said they hired lawyer Ousainou Darboe who filed a "Habeas Corpus" at the High Court against the State to produce him. They said even though, a High Court Judge ruled and ordered for the State to release him, there is no compliance with the Court order. They indicated that they do not know where the case stands as at now before the Court.

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