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UDP’s Dibba arrested

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By Lamin Cham

Ebrima Dibba, an executive member of the opposition United Democratic Party, has been arrested on arrival from the United States on Thursday night.

According to UDP sources, Mr Dibba was arrested at the airport and is still being held.

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The Gambia Police Force subsequently confirmed the arrest in a statement saying Dibba is currently under investigation. The police said they have also put one Bakary Sillah in custody.  Sillah too is believed to be a member of the UDP.

The police said the details regarding their arrests and the ongoing investigations will be communicated in due time.

The police appealed to the public to allow them ”to conduct their work with due diligence.”

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Lawyer Fatty

Meanwhile, Lawyer Abdoulie Fatty has posted on Facebook that Mr Dibba has informed him that he is being charged with sedition. “I’m reliably informed that he’ll be taken to court tomorrow. At 00:30, he would have been in custody for 72hrs, the maximum period allowed by the constitution. A second longer will be unconstitutional and unlawful.

I believe that his arrest and detention are politically motivated, aimed at suppressing the opposition and stifling dissent. All of us must be outraged by this. The police are alarmingly weaponising the law to target critics and the opposition. Silence is complicity. We must all condemn these tactics. CSOs and influential people must speak up.

This must not be seen as a UDP issue but a deliberate and systemic attack on our democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms. We have to be consistent in our condemnations. All of us must speak up and loud against this dictatorial tendency. If Dibba is detained a minute longer than 72 hours, we will sue the IGP for unlawful detention and a flagrant violation of his Chapter IV on fundamental rights and freedoms. The TRRC dedicated a whole theme to these sorts of egregious conducts by the state,” he said.

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