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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Sonko on hunger strike, as Sabally languishes in detention

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By Tabora Bojang

Two senior opposition UDP figures, Brikama area councillor Sheriffo Baiyo Sonko and party campaign manager Momodou Sabally have been detained by the police since Friday.

Sonko, a nominated councillor at the Brikama Area Council was called for questioning and detained at the Kanifing Police Station.

He has reportedly been on a hunger strike and has “steadfastly declined any sustenance offered by the police and his family,” a source close to the UDP militant told The Standard. The source said the hunger strike was Sonko’s protest at his unjustifiable detention.

An unconfirmed source told The Standard that Sonko was allegedly reported to the State Intelligence Services by a police officer over certain threats he allegedly made against the intelligence service and they consequently requested for his detention at the police.

Contacted for clarification, acting police spokesperson, Modou Musa Sisawo said he could neither confirm nor deny that Mr Sonko was invited by the police or another security agency. He promised to get back to us before we went to press.  “I equally heard people talking about [Sonko’s arrest] but I was not privy to it. But we have said from the onset that this is not limited to Sabally alone. Anyone can be invited for questioning, the police have that prerogative,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police have been more forthcoming on the arrest of the UDP campaign manager.

Writing on their social media handles on Friday, the police confirmed Sabally was “invited for questioning over comments he posted on his Facebook page in the days preceding the regrettable incident that resulted in the tragic loss of two police officers and the hospitalisation of another in critical condition.”

He was detained at the Kairaba Police Station.

Muhammed Lamin Fatajo who was among the UDP supporters who converged at the Kairaba station on Friday evening, told The Standard that he was forcefully removed from his car beaten, verbally harassed and detained for over 20 hours.

Fatajo, who said he has asthma, alleged that he pleaded for help when he had constrictive breathing but the police denied him access to the respiratory pump in his car.

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