Three Gambian youths namely; Lamin Marigo (Comes), Lamin Sey (L-Tigo) and Pa Landing Jobe have been reported missing in The Gambia since May 9th around 6:30 in the evening. Credible reports from concerned friends and family members indicate that all three youths, in their late 20’s were last seen outside Ousainou Darboe’s residence in Pipeline where they were picked up by Gambian Security Personnel.
To date the young men have been held for 17 days, exceeding the 72 hours constitutional limit. In response close friends and family members are demanding for their immediate release. All three have been described as responsible hard working youths. Concerned friends are also campaigning for their immediate release and if they have indeed fallen foul of the law, they should be formally charged in court.
Lamin Marigo pictured in the first photo below, is a 28 year old male commonly known as Comes. Recently married Marigo, a videographer and editor by profession is of Mandinka descent from Latrikunda. He’s family members raise heightened concerns that he suffers from asthma and has an acute breathing problem. This underlines the urgent need for his immediate release as prison conditions are often unsuitable for detainees with any medical conditions, especially asthma. Authorities are hereby reminded of their duty to ensure access to adequate medical facilities for his wellbeing.
Lamin Sey pictured in the second photo below is a 28 year old Fula male with a Mandinka lineage. Commonly known as L-Tigo, he is fluent in English, Wollof, Mandinka and Fula. Sey is his family’s bread winner and a responsible businessman with employees. Sey an established tailor by trade runs a tailoring shop in Serrekunda, Bundung area with employees working under him. Sey’s mum suffers from common illness (heebon) and he is the sole carer for her wellbeing.
Pa Landing Jobe pictured in the third photo below is a 27 year old businessman from Talingding. His family members are very concerned and worried about his wellbeing as he constantly suffers from air shortage resulting in airlock.
On May 25th Gambian based news outlet Foroyaa published an editorial that families of arrestees are searching for their loved ones. This editorial states that keeping family members in unknown places is a “gross violation of section 19 of the Constitution”. Foroyaa has been publishing editorials of enforced disappearances for years now which the government continues to ignore with impunity.
Gainako’s Youth activist Flex Dan said “Family members cannot expect the government to feed and keep their loved ones safe as duty-bound in the constitution. It is a constitutional right of every family member to have access to their loved one. Since the state often provides poor food to prisoners it is incumbent on family members; to take their loved ones food, demand for access to medical attention and for their quick release. Looking at past cases the longer people are held incommunicado the more difficult it can be to trace them.”
Recently exiled Gambian rapper activist Jerreh Badgie “Retsam” lamented on the issues facing Gambian Youths. “My generation is either taking the back way or in illegal detention with no second chances for simply exercising their fundamental rights. This could happen to your father, brother or cousin. So it’s up to everyone to say no to illegal detention by speaking out. Family members must be devastated by this ongoing situation and we’re equally concerned for their wellbeing. We can’t afford to sit down and watch this repression continue for too long, we demand for their immediate release!”
In a Facebook post by another exiled Gambian rapper activist Ali Cham “Killa Ace” he vents his disapproval at the news of their incommunicado detention. “Who’s going to be next, and when will this madness stop? Fire in my heart, more rage, more reasons why we lost hope in the system. #FreeDem”
It is indeed collective responsibility to speak up and stand up aganist injustice . Each and every Gambian should put themselves in the position of those who are illegally detain and whose Rights has been violated . Our message should target the security forces especially the NIA and the military who continue to be major players in our current predicament . Those evil security forces or personnels must understand that the impunity will not last forever , anyone who committed a crime will face the court of law anywhere in the world even if you leave the country . As long as there is evidence , victims or their families can file lawsuit against you even if you live in western countries post Jammeh’s regime . While they may continue to enjoy the current impunity in The Gambia , they must realize that crime against humanity has no boundaries . The laws must be applied to get justice . It is time for Gambians to go after those security forces who are directly responsible for heinous crime. We have a lot of security personnels who are playing victims cards today but when they were in the position of leadership , they do not hesitate to abuse Gambians for the sake of the little dictator . Majority of them are quite and careless about The Gambia now . Security forces must stop abusing their fellow citizens .