Darboe’s comments come at a time when The Gambia government is illegally holding two Muslim clerics at a regional prisons in Jan Janbureh. No reasons have been advanced for the arrest and subsequent detention without trial of Alh. Ousman Sawaneh and Cherno Gassama, Imams of Kanifing and Darsilameh, respectively.
“Stand up for your detained fellow imams if you want to be on the right side of history,” the Secretary General of the United Democratic Party tells a Tanje rally. The calls on the Gambian religious leaders to come out of their shadows and join the fight to free their colleagues have been getting louder.
Since 1994 when President Yahya Jammeh came to power, Gambians from all walks of life or categories have had their rights infringed by state security agents. Assaults on Imams have become common as evidenced by the arrest, detention and torture of Alh. Karamo Touray (the late Imam of Brikama Central Mosque), Ba-kawsu Fofana (Imam of Sanchaba Sulay Jobe) and Baba Leigh (Imam of Kanifing.