Passengers are seen boarding a bus at the Basel bus park in Serrekunda, Banjul, Gambia January 17, 2017 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Van driver released after a week of unlawful detention

A commercial van driver, Bunja Sanyang who has been detained by the police for a week have been released on bail without charges, family members confirmed.

Sanyang was arrested by two ununiformed officers in Bakoteh, some nine miles from the capital Banjul.

Gambian authorities continue to stay mute on reasons for his arrest.

He was held incommunicado, according to his wife Kaddijatou Sanyang, who had visited the police headquarters in Banjul but was denied from seeing him.

Whiles his detention has been condemned as illegal, his conditional release without any charges is also deemed unfair.

Police officers walked up to Mr. Sanyang and confiscated his ‘gele gele’ vehicle keys and documents. He was first detained at the Bakoteh police station before being transported to Banjul.

An indemnity law that activists seek to have repealed protects security forces from being prosecuted for violating civil and human rights.

Gambia’s new government has promised to enforce the rule of law and end impunity but incidences of this nature are throwing their reform bid into question.

The country’s new Attorney General has pledged to reform the laws and ensure that those found wanting of violating civil liberties and human rights face justice.

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