It is now more than 144 hours since five PIU officers were arrested for their alleged shooting of protesters in Faraba on Monday June 18. Since their arrest and detention the men remain under custody without being taken to court or released.
This is a direct violation of Section 19 of the Constitution and therefore the fundamental human rights of these arrested officers.
The IGP takes full responsibility for this blatant abuse of power and he must be held to account. The Minister of Interior is hereby informed that the IGP is flouting the rule of law and as the Minister responsible for the Police he must take action to ensure that the IGP respects the rule of law.
If the Police cannot bail or unconditionally release these arrested officers then the IGP must take the matter to the Court so that he obtains legal authority to further detain these officers.
But the IGP has no legal authority or power on his own to unilaterally decide to detain any citizen for whatever reason.
The law provides that the arrested officers be informed of the reasons of their arrests within 3 hours maximum in the language they understand and be taken before a court of law within 72 hours maximum and have unfettered access to their lawyers and family as soon as possible. We hope the IGP complies with these provisions of our Constitution.
Failure to do so means the IGP is guilty of arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detention contrary to our Constitution for which the arrested officers have the right to sue the IGP accordingly.
All citizens especially The Gambia Bar Association must come to the side of these arrested officers to ensure that their rights are not violated with impunity!
If we allow one right to be violated and not repaired in full immediately then we risk violation of each and every other right of each and every citizen sooner or later.
Let the IGP stop abuse and respect the law!
For The Gambia Our Homeland