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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Families demand release of detained soldiers

By Omar Bah

The families of the two detained soldiers accused of stealing the army’s fuel coupons have called for their release or appearance before a court of law. The two detained soldiers, Corporal Sarjo Conteh and Lance Corporal Ismaila Saidy Faye, have been detained at the Fajara barracks for nearly two months. They are yet to be charged or taken to any military tribunal to face justice.

The two were arrested with a number of soldiers in April after fuel coupons worth D300,000 went missing at the defence headquarters.
Corporal Conteh has since confessed to stealing while Corporal Faye has not accepted guilt. The families of the two soldiers who spoke to The Standard on the basis of anonymity said the continued detention of their families’ breadwinners is violation of their rights.

“We demand that the high command of the military release them or take them before a court for fair hearing. They are the breadwinners of their families and since their detention we struggle to have food to survive,” a family member said.

When contacted for comments, GAF spokesperson Major Lamin Sanyang said the investigations have been completed and the case will be finalised this week.
“We are very cognisant of the 72-hour provision but due to the nature of the investigations we don’t want to release them. We are worried that they might interfere with the investigations. It is also important to note that they are given access to their families at all times,” he said.

Major Sanyang encouraged the families of the detained military officers to exercise patience.

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