Tuesday, October 4

33 Gambian detainees in Dubai prison call for urgent evacuation

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The 33 Gambian youth who are currently under detention in Dubai prison have called on The Gambia government to save their lives by evacuating them urgently from the Middle East.

Several Gambian youth went to the Middle East in search of greener pastures but things turned trouble for them. However, these 33 Gambians now want to return to The Gambia to continue a normal life.

Speaking to this reporter anonymously, a Gambian youth said: “We are suffering in Dubai. “Ninety percent of us (Gambians) in Dubai spend nights in open spaces. Most of us find it difficult to have food. Some eat once in a full day,” he said.

He added that the Gambian youth in Dubai are continually roaming around streets without shelter or even water for drinking or bathing.

“We were staying at a place called Union in Dubai, but sometime ago, the government of Dubai announced to provide free tickets to all foreigners who overstay in the country and want to go home.”

“However, when we report to them (Dubai immigration officers) instead of giving us free tickets, they detained us at AL- Awii Prison.”

“We are given food to eat in the cells but we live a terrible life,” he said.

He said currently they are communicating with people at home but anytime the Dubai security officers transfer them to major prisons, all their mobile phones would be seized and they would not be able to communicate.

“If government fails to evacuate us with urgency anything possible can happen to us,” he warned.

Talking about the agents who facilitated their travels to Dubai, he said the agents definitely lied to them. He explained that prior to their departure to the Middle East; the agents told them that they would get earnings about D30, 000 monthly salaries upon arrival.

He said this is in contrast with their current situation. “They lied to us because we neither have a job nor peace here,” he stated.

Another Gambian youth in Al-Wii Prison called on the government to evacuate them. “We want to return to The Gambia because we are suffering here a lot. There is no place like home,” he said.

“Had I known this would happen to me, I would have not come here,” he said, as he desperately identified himself as native of Tanji.

Another Dubai based-Gambian said: “Right now we do not know our fate because about 50 people have been transferred to another detention centre. We do not know anything about them. They are not communicating to us; even their parents are asking us their whereabouts.”

In this regard, he also called on the government to evacuate them urgently before it is too late. He added that anything could happen to them in the Middle East nation.

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