Kartong youths freed but their demands still stand
The chronicles leading to the sudden Presidential intervention in the Kartong youths saga unfold. Kartong villagers are said to have snubbed dictator Jammeh’s Gunjur meeting, prompting him to come to the realization that, Kartong people mean business. He underestimated their resolve to fight on amidst his sinister plots to divide and conquer the protesters.
As a strategic move, Kartong elders instructed Barrister Lamin J Darboe to act as the legal counselor for the entire village. This gave him the leverage to take the case of all the 33 detainees. In that, the state’s refusal to allow the Kartong villagers access to the detainees proved futile, a tactic meant to cause division among the remanded youths. But to Mr. Jammeh’s surprise, his failed strategy boomeranged on him, and badly, for he was losing political in a village he had conquered long since.
Kairo News has learnt Jammeh’s determination to deal mercilessly with Kartong youths so their case will serve as deterrent to other youths across the country. However, the determination of the Kartong community a ruling party strong hold baffles the President and his inner circle.
It has come to our knowledge that a plot to divide the Kartong village started in earnest on Friday. The calculation was to deny the lawyers and families of the detained Kartong 22 access to them at Mile 2 Central Prisons. The dictator thought the normal tradition of apply backdoor negotiation was now in the offing. Yes, it was even bandied around by the banished council Lamin Jamba Jammeh. But the proposal died before it even reached the village square.
Another thing that left the regime confused and scared was the presence of key opposition figures at the bail hearing. The fear was that what started as a simple uprising had the potential to snowball into a mass protest movement. No government wants to go that route, not even the Jammeh dictatorship that is fast losing public confidence and support.
The youths were quickly remanded in custody after Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke of Brikama refused them bail on November 24. Family members confirmed they were denied access to their loved ones on November 26.
One family source told Kairo News that one of the remanded detainees was still detained at Brikama Police Station. We are yet to authenticate the claim with the lawyers who were reportedly denied access to their clients Friday morning on the pretext that they had no visitation clearance.
The defiant Kartong people stood on their ground and remained united, which dashed authorities’ hopes of winning. In fact, they have now become worried, disturbed and vulnerable. Kartongas’ put more petrol on fire when a record number of them last week gathered at the community center to renew their determination to fight a just cause. In fact, the entire Kombo South is prepared to offer support and solidarity to Kartong, as evidenced by their resolve to travel to Brikama in hundreds on Tuesday when the 33 will have appeared in court.