By: Dawda Baldeh & Mamadi Sawo
Musa Touray is a Gambian residing in Dubai. His friend, Siaka Danjo, has been in prison for almost a year; and Musa is pleading with the Gambian embassy in Dubai and other authorities to intervene and facilitate the release of his friend.
Speaking exclusively to The Fatu Network, Musa said he is worried as his friend has been imprisoned for a year without being tried or informed of his crime.
According to him, Siaka Danjo is a resident of Kuwonku in the Upper River Region who travelled to Dubai some years ago, revealing that Gambians in Dubai are facing serious problems, with many being detained in prisons.
“Siaka Danjo was arrested alongside two other Gambians. Siaka was working in a company, but the contract ended due to the collapse of the company.
As a result, the employers informed him that they were laying off workers due to the company’s poor performance.
He had left his passport, other work tools, and clothes at the company. While on his way to retrieve his belongings, the Dubai police pursued and apprehended them, and all three were taken to prison,” Musa narrated his friend’s plight.
However, the other two boys arrested alongside Siaka were later released, but Siaka was not.
Touray mentioned that they have exhausted all possible means to seek an explanation from the authorities, but have not received any reason for Siaka’s continued imprisonment.
He claimed that the initial Gambian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates was informed about the arrest, but that he visited only once.
“Unfortunately, this visit happened during a transition of ambassadors in Dubai,” he said.
Touray added that the new ambassador was also informed about the issue.
Musa expressed dismay at the Gambian authorities in Dubai for what he described as “neglect of their citizens”.
“When I informed the new ambassador about the case, he consistently asked for the name of the arrestee and his cell number, seemingly unaware of the details despite being informed multiple times,” Musa further claimed.
He criticized the ambassador for not taking the case seriously.
“After one week of being informed, I asked the ambassador if he had visited the prison but he repeatedly inquired about the name of the arrestee,” adding that the prison authorities have always been asking him if the Gambian ambassador was aware of his friend detention.
Siaka calls me almost every Friday to inquire about his case. Each time he calls, I inform him that I have notified the embassy, but they haven’t taken any action yet,” he explained.
Musa said, after giving the case number to the embassy, he was expecting the embassy authorities to search for his friend in all prisons because they are the representatives of Gambians in the UAE.