Momodou Sajo Jallow
Momodou Sajo Jallow

(JollofNews) – Amnesty International has launched a petition calling on the Gambian regime of President Yahya Jammeh to release a former minister who is languishing in detention.

Momodou Sajo Jallow, a ex-deputy minister of Foreign Affairs has been held incommunicado for more than two months at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) without access to his family or a lawyer. He remains in detention despite a court granting him bail.

Mr Jallow was dismissed as deputy minister of Foreign Affairs on 1 September. The following morning on 2 September, he was picked up by men in plain clothes from his residence in Kerr Serign in Banjul.

The men are believed to be NIA agents. Despite several attempts, his family and lawyer have not been able to contact or visit him even though they have unofficial information that he is being detained at the NIA headquarters.

He has not been charged or brought before a court. His lawyer filed an application at the High court of Banjul for his release from NIA custody on 28 September and also for him to be granted bail.

Justice Otaba of the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul on 17 October granted bail to Mr Jallow in the sum of D200,000 (approximately $USD 4,587.16 ) with two sureties.

The sureties must be Gambians living in Gambia and they would be required to submit to the court title deeds of property equivalent to the bail amount.

Another condition of the bail is for Mr Jallow to submit his travel documents to the Principal Registrar of the high court. This will be difficult since Mamadou Sajo Jallow’s travel documents were taken away by the men who arrested him.

Mr Jallow’s house had been broken into by unknown men twice prior to his arrest. The latest break in was on 1 September when his laptop and some personal documents were taken.

Amnesty International has expressed concerned for the safety of Mr Jallow and has called on Gambian authorities to immediately release him or promptly charge him with an internationally recognizable offence;

It also called on the authoritiesto immediately provide him with access to his family and lawyers, and ensure that he is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.