Witness catalogue crime meted on innocent Gambians

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

One Sainey Faye, businessman last Wednesday, 13th February, 2019 told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) chaired by Dr. Lamin J. Sise that Jammeh government inflicted torture, pains and on scores of his colleagues; and that his arrest and detention impacted a great deal on him and his family as he was the breadwinner of his family.

Mr. Faye testified that 22 of his colleagues who were arrested together with him had died and six others are presently bedridden as a result of torture, pain and beaten meted on them by elements of Jammeh government.

“We knew each other at a stage and we will never forget each other,” he remarked.

The witness disclosed that his trouble with the Jammeh government started on the 12th October, 1994, when he was returning from the U.S. Embassy to collect a visa application form for his younger brother.

He further disclosed that he was accosted by some intelligent officers who asked him to move away from the vicinity of the embassy so as not to allow the embassy satellite capture them.

Sainey Faye said he refused but was met with strong opposition and was beaten and sustained injuries and a broken ankle as they tried to force him into a vehicle.

He disclosed that one Ousman Tamba, Sainey Manneh, Musa Kinteh and Modou Pika Jallow were among the people who beat him and attempted to force him into a vehicle.

He told the Commission that he was first taken to Kairaba Police Station and then to the NIA Headquarters in Banjul where he was received by Daba Marena, the Operations director, Baba Saho and Salimina Drammeh.

He further told the Commission that at the NIA, he was led into a big hall where he was interrogated tortured; adding that he was electrocuted by some officials from the state guard.

Sainey Faye disclosed that he was taken to Fajara Barracks late in the evening and detained in an old garage with some other detainees.

He described the condition of the garage as deplorable and at about midnight some soldiers arrived and started calling their names and threatened that they would be taken to firing squad in Brikama and executed.

He told the Commission how he was informed about the BBC news that they collaborated with Captain Ebou Jallow to attack The Gambia.

The witness revealed that the following morning, two trucks filled with soldiers led by Almamo Manneh arrived and informed the detainees that they wanted to kill them.

He said they were asked to lay with their face down and the soldiers started trampling on their backs.

He told the Commission how one Mustapha Ceesay then permanent secretary had his arm broken as he attempted to block them from beating him.

He further told the Commission how Almamo Manneh took Jobarteh Manneh and started beating him and whilst Almamo was beating, Bombadier started firing gun shots.

He explained that whilst Jobarteh Manneh was beating, a lady, named unmentioned was shocked and dismayed with the manner Jobarteh was beaten shouted.

The witness said the lady was stripped naked but as she protested that she was in menstruation period, she was assaulted in her genitalia and she began bleeding from her private part.

Sainey Manneh told the Commission that how one Ismaila Jawara was called and Sanna Manjang held his head, squeezed and attempted to break his neck in a move to kill him, but left after the detainees shouted.

“Almamo Manneh always say that before anyone gets to Yahya Jammeh the person has to walk on his corpse first, but Almamo Manneh was eventually killed by the same people he swore to die for,” the witness told the Commission.

The witness told the Commission that they left and when they returned, they came with O.J. who was severely beaten and led into the hall, bleeding from his eyes.

He pointed out that O.J. was led into the hall along with M.C. Cham, Housainou Njie and some other detainees.

He stated that they were beaten and were bleeding from their backs.

He revealed that one Malamin Fatty, Ex-president Jawara’s nephew was stripped naked and beaten by the soldiers and asked to be leaping.

The witness disclose that he was disabled for his first six months of detention and was crawling on his knees and has no access to medical facilities, no proper food but could only move with the help of a stick left by the soldiers that was used in beating the detainees.

Author: Bruce Asemota