By Yaya Dampha
Gambian authorities have finally mustered the courage and freed a Senegalese held captive for almost two decades.
Abdourahman Baldé, a native of Kolda in Southern Senegal, had been detained without trial since July 1997. Baldé was unconditionally released from prison, authoritative sources tipped Kairo News.
Mr. Baldé had been moved from one detention center in the country to another. At the time of his release last week, he had already spent eight years in the Gambia’s Mile II Central Prison. Prior to that, he was detained at Banjul police cells where he served as an Imam.
The Gambia government refuses to acknowledge arresting and keeping Mr. Baldé, let alone divulging the reasons. Baldé case has become a widespread campaign tool by activist organizations. Activists condemned Baldé illegal detention and lobbied for his unconditional release. Mr. Baldé has been described as “a prisoner of conscience.”
Activist organizations have been calling for the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience currently being detained in Gambian prisons. They also want the International Committee of the Red Cross to have access to the prisons to determine conditions there.