Monday, July 22, 2024

Five Gambians Released from Russian Detention Center

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By: Alieu Jallow

Five Gambian nationals were released from Russian Immigration detention on Tuesday, May 15th, following diplomatic intervention led by Gambian Deputy Head of Mission, Rt General Lang Tombong Tamba, and Consular to the embassy, Hon. Habiboulie K. Jawo.

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According to Russian officials, the offense committed by the Gambian nationals was due to the overstay of their tourist visas, originally obtained from Qatar, which led to their detention.

As part of the bilateral relationship between the two nations, the Gambian diplomats engaged the Russian government to secure their release with an additional 15-day grace period to vacate Russian shores.

These migrants were also provided with essential assistance, including accommodations, food, and finances. This move is believed to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the welfare of their fellow citizens.

Rt. Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba outlined that this is not the first time intervening to secure the freedom of Gambians facing immigration-related issues in Russia. He cited that earlier this year, they successfully facilitated the release of over 25 Gambians who were detained following the raiding of their accommodations after a reported terrorist attack in Moscow.

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“We understand the situation, and they are our brothers and sisters. We must always provide them with support wherever possible. Our Ambassador, Mr. Ebrima Ceesay, always made it clear that we are here for the people. I will also take this opportunity to tell Gambians that they must follow the rules, not overstay their visas, and regularize their status as soon as possible,” Rt General Tamba stated.

Consular Habiboulie K. Jawo added that many of the individuals detained had overstayed their visas and were also working without proper documentation. He lamented that despite the strict immigration penalties in Russia, they have consistently managed to navigate the legal obstacles to ensure the freedom of their compatriots.

“It is the policy of the embassy to always go out of our way to make sure that every Gambian under our jurisdiction is protected and provided with the best possible assistance they need during their stay. We will never relent in our efforts to support Gambians in any way we can,” Hon. Jawo stated.

Gambians in Russia believe the move to secure the release of their compatriots and the opportunity to regularize their status as official arrangements to depart the country indicate their unwavering commitment to serving the interests of their fellow citizens. They applauded Rt. Gen. Tamba and Hon. Jawo for their exemplary leadership in trying to bridge the gap between their home country and the host nation, ensuring the safety and security of their fellow Gambians.

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