NEW DELHI, OCT 30 (UNI):-External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meeting her counterpart from Gambia, Madame Neneh MacDouall Gaye (L) in New Delhi on Friday. UNI PHOTO-28U

Gambia: NIA defys court order to release former minister

SARJO-JALLOW-1The Gambia’s spy agency, NIA is in contempt of the court by┬ácontinuing to hold a former deputy minister and diplomat after a court ruled for him to be released.

Justice O. Ottabba ordered the release of Momodou Sarjo Jallow after his family filed a petition in court. Jallow has been held since September without charges at the NIA detention center in Banjul.

Jallow was the former deputy minister of foreign affairs and the nation’s chief envoy to the African Union. Jallow’s ministry and top official, Foreign Affairs Minister Neneh MacDouall-Gaye remains mute.

Amnesty International in an urgent call for action on Thursday said despite several attempts, his family and lawyer have not been able to contact or visit him, demanding that the incommunicado detention ends.

Jallow was to be released on a nearly $5,000 bail. His travel documents are being held by Gambian authorities, who were suspected of breaking into his suburban Kombo home in Kerr Sereign taking with them a laptop and other documents.

Amnesty International has asked The Gambia’s justice minister to have Jallow charged with an international recognizable offense or have him released and ensure that he is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.

At least one other former deputy minister, Ousman Jammeh continues to be held by the NIA incommunicado. The Gambia’s NIA is only answerable to the country’s president, Yahya Jammeh and operates under the country’s transitional military decrees.

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