By Buba Gagigo
Kebba Chatty, one of the protestors at today’s protest march calling for the release of Momodou Sabally from detention, has been arrested at the protest and is in police custody.
Buba Sanna Njie, one of the organizers of today’s protest march and a colleague of Kebba, told Kerr Fatou, that, he is still with the police, and they are taking his cautionary statement as we go to press.
“He is still with the police, they are taking his statement right now”, Mr. Njie said.
Six days into his arrest and detention without charge, Momodou Sabally’s supporters have had enough as they took to the streets on Monday, December 26th, 2022, to demand for his release from what they called illegal and inhumane detention.
Below is the full statement that was read by the protestors today.
“It is 6 days since Momodou Sabally was arrested and detained by the Police. The mandatory 72 hours as provided by the constitution expired on Saturday at about 4 p.m. Up to date, Sabally has not been charged with any offence whatsoever. The Police and the Attorney General’s Chambers colluded and made an application to the High Court for Sabally’s continued detention until January 5th, 2023, by which time he would have been in detention for 16 days.
“The supreme law of our land expressly states that you cannot hold anyone beyond 72 hours without taking them to court. The Police and the Attorney General’s Chambers know that they do not have a case against Sabally, however, they intend to restrict his constitutional fundamental rights and freedoms, so they filed a bogus ex-parte application to prolong his detention. Sadly, this malicious, vindictive and politically motivated application was granted by the High Court. The constitution vests the same High Court the power to protect citizens from infringement of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms. In Sabally’s case, it is evident that the state institutions given the constitutional mandate to protect and enforce fundamental rights and freedoms are the perpetrators, using the law to violate his rights and freedoms.
“We know that the Police and AG’s Chambers want to charge Sabally with TREASON on Tuesday. Gambians, both here and in the diaspora, know that his statements are not treasonous. However, since treason is not bailable, regardless of the lack of merit of any such prosecution, Sabally will be remanded in Mile 2 throughout the trial. That is the objective of the government. To put Sabally in prison so that he cannot campaign in the upcoming local government elections. This is a well-calculated move by politicians, aided and abetted by the criminal justice system, to silence Sabally.
“The question is, how is this any different from the way Yahya Jammeh weaponized the law and justice sector institutions to target political opponents? We are witnessing a re-emergence of abuse of power by the state against its own citizens. Criticizing government in a democracy is not a crime.
“We demand Sabally’s immediate, unconditional release and an end to his political persecution. This attack on Sabally is a betrayal of the ultimate sacrifice the likes of Solo Sandeng made in 2016 to remove this country from the jaws of dictatorship. Sabally is an innocent man! Free Sabally now!”