Should there be any detentions under the emergency power regulations?



The Gambian people are not at war with each other. The state of emergency is not due to public disorder requiring arrests and detention of mutineers or rebels The Gambian people are at war with a virus that spreads with the gathering of people in congested environments like prisons and cells. The illness is fought by avoiding public gathering, washing hands, restricting handshakes, maintaining a safe space with others and enhancing social protection measures for the most vulnerable.

Hence instead of keeping people in cells, the police and other charitable institutions should visit the ghettoes to provide support to the most vulnerable.

This should pay dividend in lowering crime by providing food and medical services that should be linked to screening and testing to combat COVID 19.

Instead of thinking of detaining anyone, what the state should do is to release many prisoners and stop any form of custodial sentences for certain crimes.

Social protection must replace detention in order to defeat COVID 19.