Egypt Independent

AUC grad student released, expected to leave Gambia by Monday



A Guinean graduate student at the American University in Cairo (AUC) who was arrested in the Gambian capital of Banjul believes he will get a clearance signature by Monday that will enable him to leave Gambia, said his professor in Cairo.

On 30 April Mouctar Diallo was detained on charges of threatening Gambian national security by spreading ideas inspired by Egypt’s 25 January revolution, his friends in Cairo say.

"I am awaiting a clearance signature from the inspector general of the police and they will let me leave the country. For now they gave back all my possessions and told me that from today I don’t have to report until they call me to finalize the case,” Diallo told his professor on 6 July.

Diallo was released on Wednesday to spend the night in the room he rented, according to Joseph Hill, an AUC anthropology professor who works with him.

"Officials say he will need to appear again to wrap up the investigation but that he will probably be cleared and allowed to leave within the next few days," Hill said.

Hill, who created a Facebook page calling for Diallo's release, told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Wednesday that he talked to Benedict Jammeh, the head of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, the highest law enforcement agency in Gambia, even for matters not related to drugs.

"Jammeh had stepped in when friends of Diallo alerted him to this case, which he was supposed to be privy to but was not," Hill said, adding that Jammeh seemed embarrassed and apologized profusely for any inconvenience caused.

The professor said Jammeh told him Diallo is a free man and only had to meet police to close his case on Wednesday, but then Hill's statements on Facebook indicated that some paperwork delayed the departure till Monday.

"Let's all hope and pray this turns out being true," Hill wrote on his Facebook page.

Diallo's mother is now in the Gambia to help him move out, says Hill.

Diallo was called for questioning by Gambian authorities on suspicion of being a terrorist and a threat to national security, according to Hill.

The student had entered Gambia to research the relationship between nomadic West African identities and globalization, and underwent more than a week of questioning in jail. He was then under house arrest until 28 June, according to Hill's Facebook page.

All posts in the name of the Facebook page are from Hill, the page owner.