‘Many prisoners die in custody due to bad treatment’

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Victims of arbitrary arrest during the Jammeh regime have told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) technical committee that while at Mile 2 Prisons, they saw so many inmates died in detention.

“At the prison, to have treatment when you are sick is always a problem,” the former inmates said.

Ousman Jammeh, former deputy minister of agriculture, said he had been unlawfully arrested and detained without trial for 18 months at Mile 2.

“The treatment we received there is inhuman; sometimes they put sand in the food we eat but we have to bear and eat it; I witnessed a time when spoilt cow was cooked and given to us to eat,” he said. 

“When you are sick, to have medical care is sometimes a problem as the officials at the prison will wait until you are in a near death stage before taking you to the hospital.  Sometimes, some inmates are left to die in the cell.”

Mr Jammeh suggested that the TRRC should involve the prisoners and the victims of illegal arrest, when real sessions start, so they could confess what they face while in custody under Jammeh’s reign.

One Adama Jallow said she was arrested and taken to Janjanbureh with 25 people on the accusation that they committed murder and were prosecuted.

She said at Janjanbureh prisons, they slept outside for almost three weeks. 

“I was fortunate that the British High Commission and America Embassy supported us until we were free,” she said.  “Jammeh has troubled the people of The Gambia for the past 22 years and thank God that the commission is here to investigate all the bad deeds he did.”

Imam Ba Kawsu Fofona, another Jammeh victim of arbitrary arrest and torture, said The Gambia has regained her freedom and it is time to work towards national development.

“The commission is a great initiative to investigate the human rights violations [of the Jammeh regime],” he said, adding that the TRRC should be truthful and sincere and do what needs to be done.

The controversial Imam said the TRRC should take precaution so that the country would be peaceful and stable.

Imam Omar Jammeh of Bakau said both the Jammeh and Jawara governments have done both good and bad things in The Gambia.

“We should let our conscience guide us,” he said.  “Similarly, crime and atrocities happened in Jawara’s regime.  The government should also investigate on that matter like they are doing now with the former regime.” 

Author: Rose Zahra Gomez
Source: Picture: Bakau TRRC meeting participants