‘My husband lost his manhood during detention’

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Khaddy Camara, wife of late Alhajie Mamadi Sabally, a business man and former National Assembly member for Sabah Sanjal Constituency during Sir D.K. Jawara’s administration has disclosed that her husband lost his manhood during his detention, which lasted for more than one year in the Yahya Jammeh’s regime.

Khaddy Camara, the first female witness made this revelation yesterday whilst giving evidence during her testimony before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).

Khaddy Camara, a resident of Jarra Soma, LRR, said her late husband had three wives and was survived with 16 children; and during the 1994 coup’d-etat, her husband was the sole bread winner of the family.

The witness disclosed that her husband’s trouble started when he travelled to Mauritanian in 1995 and the police were occasionally coming to the house to look for him.

The witness further disclosed that after the police frequent visits to their house, they called Saihou Sabally, the then vice- president in Dakar to inform him that the police usually come to the house and were looking for him.

 The witness told the Commission that they informed Saikou Sabally to advise him not to come to The Gambia for a while, a message Saikou Sabally transmitted to her husband.

The witness said on one occasion, her husband responded, saying that “I will sleep in Dakar today but tomorrow, I will sleep in Jarra Soma.”

She indicated that her husband was arrested at Farafenni before getting to Jarra Soma.

The witness said Joko Sabally, her husband’s daughter who resides in Farafenni called to inform them at Jarra Soma that her husband had been arrested and taken to the Police Headquarters in Banjul.

The witness averred that her husband was later taken to Fajara Barrack and detained.

The witness disclosed that her husband called to tell the family about condition, noting that if he could get a spoon, he would kill himself and commit suicide because it is better than the pain he was experiencing at the time.

The witness revealed that after sometime, they did not hear from her husband but after some investigations, they found out from one Masanneh Ceesay, a native of Kudang that her husband was detained at Fajara Barrack.

The witness told the Commission that Masaaneh Ceesay was detained along with her husband and released but he is late.

Madam Khaddy Camara said they later found out that her husband was arrested because he was alleged to have collected the house rent of Saikou Sabally and took it to him in Dakar.

Madam Camara further said her husband was released after spending more than a year in detention.

She indicated that the news of her husband first release got to the family, but the decision was rescinded and her husband was subsequently taken to Jeshwang Prison by the then Inspector General of Police, F.R.I. Jammeh.

The witness explained that when her husband was released he was taken to Saikou Sabally’s compound at Tobacco Road in Banjul.

She further explained that after her husband’s release, he was unable to walk for almost one month and it takes a week before her husband would talk to them.

The witness disclosed that her was received by his two sons; Pa and Omar Sabally at Jarra Soma’s bus stop where he was assisted to get to the house.

She said her husband was experiencing pains all over his body as he had swollen legs and he couldn’t speak for a while.

She indicated that they prepared ‘mannakasso’ a herbal medicine for him to drink which helped his husband greatly and he started urinating black substance and after sometime he began to walk.

The witness stated that there was a particular day her husband called all his tree wives and begged for their forgiveness and said that they had messed up with his genitals.

She further stated that her husband said marriage is between a man and woman; and all the wives informed her husband that they forgave him.

She revealed that her husband told them to be constantly checking on him especially in the night, noting that he had something inside of him which he cannot resist the pain anymore.

She said her husband also informed them that he usually suffocates and was a diabetic patient as it was not safe him to smoke.

The witness told the Commission that her husband mentioned the Late Daba Marena, F.R.I. Jammeh and some others as the people who were constantly beating him and castrated him.

The witness explained that before beating him, the torturers usually tied his toes and his neck together and they would start beating him to make him to talk.

The witness told the Commission that her husband died after one year he was released from detention.

The witness indicated that during after her husband release, the family had a bitter experience as they were completely isolated by the community as they were considered as opposition.

She noted that they had difficulty in sending their children to school, difficulty in feeding the large family and in most cases; their electricity and water were cut.

Madam Khaddy Camara informed the family’s ordeal with the then chief of Jarra Soma; Yaya Jarjusey and Mansakonko Area Council.

The witness explained the dilly-dallying altitude of Chief Yaya Jarjusey and the circumstances surrounding the eventual seizure of the family shops by the Area Council.

Meanwhile, Adelaide Sosseh, the deputy chairperson thanked the witness for coming forward to give evidence before the Commission and urged other women to emulate the witness.

The deputy chairperson indicated that it is the quest of the Commission to establish the truth and promote reconciliation.

Author: Bruce Asemota