Thursday, February 9, 2023

Gambians in Libya Say They Have No Protection


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By Suwaibou Touray & Sailu Bah Information reaching Foroyaa from a relative of a Gambian residing in the war torn North African state of Libya say he has got information that his brother and 6 others were arrested and detained in Libya for more than a week now.Mr. Lamin Dampha of Tallinding said his brother phoned him from a camp close to the Libyan capital of Tripoli, and told him that he was arrested together with several other Gambians and detained at a camp in a town called Masroot. According to Dampha’s narration, the brother was arrested with 6 other Gambians at their residence in Masroot. He said the Gambians were approached by Libyan security who requested for their ID papers which they produced but that did not deter them from being arrested. He said the 7 Gambians were then arrested and taken away to the Masroot camp where they are still being detained. Asked whether any Gambian diplomat is aware of their detention, Dampha said his brother told him that the UN Refugee Agency came to the camp but registered only the Senegalese citizens, but affirmed that no Gambian diplomat came to see them. Asked whether he knows the conditions they are detained under, he said his brother informed him that they are being maltreated and that some of them are beaten by the guards. Asked whether their captors told them the reason for their detention, he said they did not know the reason for their detention and they did not have any access to make phone calls at the camp but do it at great risk. Foroyaa eventually got in touch with the Foreign Affairs Department to shed light on the report. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday 4 February 2015, this reporter spoke to the Secretary who later phoned the Permanent Secretary and informed him about the presence of the reporter regarding the issue of the 7 Gambians detained in Libya. According to the Secretary, the PS said he had a meeting to attend but is yet to offer any further comment on the matter. The Libyan representative was said to have travelled out of the country at the time when this reporter visited the office for comments. Foroyaa will make further follow up on this matter both with the Ministry and the Libyan Embassy in Banjul. ]]>

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