Massacre survivor alleges police genital electrocution

Mar 3, 2021, 10:30 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Eric Yaw, a Ghanaian who survived the alleged massacre of more than 50 West African migrants in July 2005 by Gambian authorities yesterday told the TRRC that he was electrocuted in his genital at the cells of the Gambia Police Headquarters in Banjul.

“Now I do feel pain in my genital and because of the cuff, one of my hands can’t function well. I had a child before but after the electrocution, I couldn’t have a child and that is the reason why I don’t get married.”

Explaining the scene that resulted in his apprehension with colleagues, Mr. Yaw said he left Ghana for Senegal in 2003 to find his way to Europe.

He said in 2005, Daniel Amankwa and Eric came with a white man called Taylor who told them he had a ship that could transport them to Europe. He added that the reason for their arrival in Gambia was to meet the vessel that was to transport them.

The witness told the commission that 67 people left Senegal to The Gambia, adding 50 were Ghanaians, seven Nigerians, two Senegalese, three Ivorians and two Togolese.

Mr. Yaw continued that they arrived in The Gambia on July 16, which fell on Saturday. He explained that when their boat stopped around the Banjul port, he was the first person to disembark and people called him a thief.

“Five other people jumped into the water and I later heard gunshots. They beat me and a police officer came and took me to police headquarters in Banjul with two other colleagues. We were tortured by Sgt. Ndure among others and I was electrocuted in my genital and some part of my body.”

He told the commission that they beat them whilst taking their statements. He further testified that the officers told them to speak the truth and he indicated to them that they were not thieves, instead travelers.

“One night, the paramilitaries came to take us to where other Ghanaians were kept but I refused and they took away Lamin Tunkara. They told us they killed eight of our people in Brufut.”

He ended up revealing that a Ghanaian teacher then in The Gambia helped them with a lawyer, which led to their subsequent release by court.