The youth leaders who are from across the greater Banjul area refused to accept the reason advanced by the police for the unlawful arrest.
The party’s leader, Lawyer Darboe, was at the Banjul Police head quarters within minutes of the arrest. The deputy Inspector General of Police described the arrest and subsequent detention of the nine youth leaders as “a big misunderstanding. He said the youths were mistakenly detained.
However, Mr. Darboe warned the police to get their hands off his party’s youth leaders because their organized conference was within the ambit of the law since it did not prevent anybody from conducting their usual business.
The detained opposition youth leaders were released by the police without strings attached. Gambian freelance journalist, Sainey MK Marenah, confirmed the release of the youths without charge.
Police at Tujeren apologised to the youths saying they acted on “misleading and inaccurate information.”
The youths who felt offended told the police about their right to file complaint against unlawful detention.
The youth leaders arrested include Solo Sandeng, Fakeba Kolley, Lang Marong, Sunkary Jasseh, Jerreh Fatty, Mawdou Suso, Samba Jallow, Ousman Drammeh and Yahya Njie.
Within minutes of the arrest, the Kombo South party sympathizers flocked the scene to offer their sympathy and solidarity to the youths, insisting that the youths have exercise their rights to organize conference.
The Youth Secretary of UDP re-affirmed their commitment to organize forums geared towards informing youths about state of affairs in the country. His expressed his party’s rejection to anything that hinders their democratic and civic rights.
A conference organized by Mr. Sandeng and colleagues witnessed the cross carpeting of 19 youths from the ruling Alliance for Patriotic, Re-orientation and Construction party of President Yahya Jammeh. The conference was meant to map out strategy for the opposition UDP ahead of the next presidential polls in less than two years.
Opposition youth leaders warned Gambian authorities to be wary of illegally detaining their colleagues, which according to them, is capable of getting out of control.