#Article (Archive)

Growing concern over welfare of Imam Baba Leigh

May 6, 2013, 11:14 AM

The United States embassy in Banjul together with the British High Commission representing the European Union locally and the EU delegation in The Gambia, said Friday that it continues to be greatly concerned about the welfare and safety of Imam Baba Leigh, five months after he disappeared.

Imam of Kanifing Estate Mosque, Baba Leigh was reportedly picked up from his house on 3rd December 2012 by men in plainclothes and yet to be seen by family members.

In a statement issued Friday, the US Embassy ‘urge the Government of The Gambia to act in accordance with its laws as well as its international obligations.’

‘We call on all concerned to provide lawyers, family members, and international observers access to Imam Baba Leigh and to treat him fully in accordance with the laws of The Gambia and the accepted norms of international human rights,’ the statement said.

As a leading Islamic scholar, the statement added, Imam Baba Leigh is a frequent interlocutor of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Department of State and is known as a trusted religious leader throughout The Gambia.

‘The Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency allegedly detained him on Monday, December 3 for reasons unknown. Imam Baba Leigh has not been seen or heard from in five months and the Government of The Gambia continues to deny providing information about his whereabouts,’ the US Embassy noted.

‘The British High Commission representing the EU locally and the EU Delegation in The Gambia associates itself with the above statement,’ the statement concluded.