By Patience Loum, Banjul, The Gambia – Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
The police force of The Gambia has distanced itself from allegations that its officers engaged in harassing Muslim women wearing Niqab for not wearing face masks.
A Niqab is a Muslim wear for ladies that cover the face exclusive of the eyes.
The police picked interest when news circulated on social media pinpointing at police officers arresting Muslim women covered in veils for not wearing the face masks.
According to the Inspector General of Police, Mamour Jobe, the claims are untrue since the IGP has not issued any specific instructions of arrests targeting women wearing the Nijab.
Social media critics claim the police officers arrest Muslim women who are wearing Niqab rather than face masks.
Office of the IGP said “It is a common understanding that the Niqab veil covers the mouth and nose which is the ultimate purpose of facemask wearing.”
Police however said the investigations into the matter have been launched to ascertain the claims.
“Furthermore, inquiries have been made at all police regions and divisions, and it is clear that no such arrest was reported anywhere.” reads the police press release.
Police also said further instructions have been communicated to Regional Commands to adequately brief personnel to exercise reasonable discretion in allowing women whose veil covers the mouth and nose to access public places.
Gambia’s President Adama Barrow announced compulsory wearing of face masks to as a standard measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Gambia has so far confirmed 2,116 COVID-19 cases with 63 deaths and 415 recoveries according to recent data.