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Gambia Opposition Leader Calls For Cleric's Release

lawyer Ousainou Darboe(AFP) – The main opposition figure in Gambia, Ousainou Darboe, has called at a rally attended by hundreds of supporters for the release of a religious leader who was jailed last month and is known for being critical of President Yahya Jammeh.

The rally was held Saturday in Brikama, a few miles south of Banjul, the capital of the tiny west African country, whose government rights groups accuse of systematically cracking down on journalists, lawyers and critics.

Imam Baba Leigh, a Muslim cleric who had criticised Jammeh's regime for carrying out the executions of nine death row inmates last year, was detained on December 3 and has been held incommunicado since.

"A country is ruled by laws and not by force. In this 21st century, Gambia is the only country where citizens or religious leaders are arrested and detained unconstitutionally and nothing is said or done about it," Darboe said.lawyer Ousainou DarboeUDP's Ousainou Darboe

"We have seen people disappear in this country, we have seen people arrested in this country and detained beyond the constitutional limit, which is a gross violation of their rights. ... This must stop," he said, quoted by several private radio networks.

One of Baba Leigh's relatives confirmed to AFP on Sunday that the religious leader had not been seen since his arrest.

He was driven away by men in plain clothes who introduced themselves as members of the intelligence agency.

"Since his arrest on 3rd December 2012, we are yet to set our eyes on Imam Baba Leigh. He remains in detention despite many denials by the police and the intelligence agency that he is not in their custody," one of his children said.

Jammeh announced in August last year that all death row inmates would be executed by mid-September. A week later a first batch of nine were executed by firing squad.

According to rights groups, close to 40 other prisoners faced death but no further executions were reported.

Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, rules the country with an iron fist, brooking no criticism.

The man who claims he can cure AIDS and other illnesses is often pilloried for rights abuses and the muzzling of journalists.

Comments  

 
+4 #15 2013-01-10 11:42
Some say I'm clairvoyant and can fore tell the future.

Mind you I could become B4 Africa's Marabout..{ for a small fee }
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+4 #14 2013-01-09 22:12
Quoting Mike Scales:
Lionking.

May I thank The President for spending 5 million dollars with an American company in Washington and for supporting the French company Alcatel...

We impoverished Westerners are ever greatful for his patronage.

Obviously..Gambia is now a super power and does no longer need handouts from western tax payers.

H.E. should write a book " The Untold Story" on how to run Western economies into surplus.

The man can work miricles.

H.E. is a economic phenonomen. a genius.

Please send all remittances for my praise singing c/o Jollof News.


This one is a cracker Mike
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+4 #13 2013-01-09 22:11
Quoting Mike Scales:
Lionking.

May I thank The President for spending 5 million dollars with an American company in Washington and for supporting the French company Alcatel...

We impoverished Westerners are ever greatful for his patronage.

Obviously..Gambia is now a super power and does no longer need handouts from western tax payers.

H.E. should write a book " The Untold Story" on how to run Western economies into surplus.

The man can work miricles.

H.E. is a economic phenonomen. a genius.

Please send all remittances for my praise singing c/o Jollof News.


This one is a cracker Mike
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-6 #12 2013-01-09 05:10
Quoting Mr. Jammeh:
I can't believe that people are still calling Imam Baba Leigh's disappearance an arrest. This just tells you how ignorant the majority of the Gambians are. It is so sad.

OOOPS! Did you just say "majority of Gambians"? Whatever the majority of Gambians say or want is the correct thing
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+7 #11 2013-01-08 16:56
Lionking.

It would be difficult for me to log all my evidence and experience of Gambian affairs, within this small comment blog.

But rest assured,I speak with both the disporan and home based "movers and shakers" regularly. As you would expect,there views differ, towards a rich complex tapestry, that makes up the greater Gambian society.

My own opinion,formed by years of dialogue and instruction from the most vocal...is that this divisive disunity of body politic and national spirit, is entirely as reaction to the concerted actions and policies persued by the APRC government.

I can personally vouch for the mental soundness of Pa Nderry Mbai...and others.

You may also rest assured..that my own small contribution leans heavily in favour of a peaceful negotiated resolution between Mr Jammeh and his detractors.
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0 #10 2013-01-08 14:45
I can't believe that people are still calling Imam Baba Leigh's disappearance an arrest. This just tells you how ignorant the majority of the Gambians are. It is so sad.
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+3 #9 2013-01-08 09:24
LION KING...

That's excuse is not good enough...The writer alluded to the criticism of the executions,from an Islamic point of view,by Imam Baba Leigh,as a probable reason for his arrest,which you disputed...

You cannot dispute someone's point of views,unless you are 100% certain that it was wrong...So don't tell us here that you don't know the reasons...

The fact that other people also criticized the executions but did not get arrested is no reason to say he must have done something else...

Most of the other criticisms were mainly from the humanitarian/constitutional procedural perspectives,wh ich Jammeh doesn't care about...

However,we all know that he (Jammeh) is obsessed about his religious perception and want the world to believe that his actions were inline with the Sharia...That's why Imam Leighs criticism angered him so much...

The Christian Priests have the prerogative to comment on the executions or not...
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-2 #8 2013-01-08 04:08
Quoting Mike Scales:
H.E. should write a book " The Untold Story" on how to run Western economies into surplus.

Michael,why can't you teach your friend Pa Nderry how to write a correct sentence? The title of his book is " THE UNTOLD DICTAOR YAHYA JAMMEH STORY" instead of THE UNTOLD STORIES OF DICTATOR YAHYA JAMMEH. pa is sick from head to toe and needs very serious prayers.
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-4 #7 2013-01-08 00:40
Fellows,I am the wrong person to tell you what Baba Leigh has done. Even those who know what he has done will not tell you because of the pending investigation. Astahfirhu laah! may be C.C.G or NTCG can tell us what happened.
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-5 #6 2013-01-07 22:13
LionKing, You made real sense here!!! because their were many people who against the nine death row execution that didn't got arrested.

Wait a minute, How come no christian Father/pastor,ever got arrested? They're also a religous leaders,Oh yeah...or yeah...They preached peace and love...!!!
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