Activists call for release of imam in Gambia

BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Activists in Gambia are calling on the government to release an imam who has been jailed for five months.

Imam Baba Leigh has been missing since December and is believed to have been detained by Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency.

Media reports have linked his alleged arrest with comments he made in September 2012 describing the execution of nine death row inmates as “un-Islamic.”

Hamat Bah of the opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP) called on the Gambian government to release the Muslim cleric late Tuesday, describing his detention unconstitutional.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has ruled the country since he came to power in a coup in 1994.

Human rights groups have accused the government of Gambia of carrying out arbitrary arrests, summary executions and torture in recent years.

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