GMC IS GRAVELY CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONTINUING DETENTION OF BABA LEIGH AND OTHERS
The 72 hours Constitutional limit under which the government could retain Imam Baba Leigh under custody had expired. GMC expresses grave concerns over the unlawful detention of Imam Leigh. We strongly condemn this illegality, and call for an end to impunity. According to family sources, Mr. Leigh was denied visits since his arrest and detention by State operatives four days ago. GMC noted that his family has not still been informed of the reasons for his arrest and detention, and they were also denied information as to his whereabouts. We call on the government to immediately release the Imam without pre-conditions.
Our earliest response to the unlawful arrest and detention of Mr. Leigh, was to consult with like minds as well as inform our development partners around the world, built a Team to monitor the situation. This was conducted in coordination with efforts to raise support for the release Lawyer Amie Bensouda, who incidentally was subsequently released. Our efforts on behalf of Mr. Leigh, working in conjunction with Mr. Banka Manneh, Coach-Pa Samba Jow, Malik Kah, Fatou Sagnia, Fatou Jaw Manneh and the Team, resulted to an on-going Petition demanding for his immediate release, which is being signed by tonnes of Gambians around the world. The Team also set up a website to raise funds to support his legal costs as well as his family. We are also in consultation with specific partners to achieve more effective response to this type of situation.
We call on all Gambians to sign the Petition, and to join intensified campaign now on-going on social media, and to generously donate to the Imam Baba Leigh fund raising campaign.
GMC takes this opportunity to condemn the arrest and detention of Ousman Saidykhan, the brother of journalist Aboubacarr Saidykhan and Jollof News Reporter Abdoulaye John. We urge the authorities to release them with immediate effect, and demand for an end to the repression against the media. In the same spirit, we demand that Teranga FM be permitted to operate, as well as The Daily News and The Standard news outlets. We call on all Gambians to close ranks, focus on ending the dictatorship, and avoid tendencies that may set us against each other, instead of fighting tyranny in our country.