EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Fatoumatta K. Jawara, United Democratic Party (UDP) National Assembly Members for Tallinding, Wednesday appear before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) where she narrated ordeal on the maltreatment she underwent during former regime.
Jawara, who got involved in politics since her primary school days said she used to receive threats from supporters of the then ruling Alliance for Patriotic, Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) party because of her active participation in her political activies, saying she was very vocal as if she was the only UDP militant in their Tallinding area.
“I used to be determined in motivating young people to join our party and represent the party as a pooling agent during elections and they were not happy about that.”
She said she was first arrested at Tujereng with other members of the UDP while they were on a political meeting and taken to court, charged with unlawful assembly. She said they were released after realising that they had applied for permit to conduct the meeting.
“I was again arrested at Bato Kunku when we were in another political meeting and this was prior to our arrest on April 14th 2016.”
She said on the event of April 14th 2016 arrest, she was from school heading home and met some of her UDP colleagues at Westfield, who were chased by the paramilitary and they were running in different directions and she and others got arrested and thrown into a pickup car and taken to the PIU headquarters in Kanifing.
Mrs Jawara said that was the time she came to know that the crowd were protesting for electoral reforms and it was during that commotion she was arrested and taken away in a pickup car.
She said she was arrested alongside Kalilou Saidy khan, who told them that he was not part of the protest and he was out to look for his fish money but he too was slapped.
According to Mrs Jawara, about twenty-seven people were arrested and taken to the PIU headquarters and later transferred to Mile 2 Central Prison, where they were detained at the remand wing.
She said they were later escorted to the NIA headquarters where they were interrogated and their statements taken. “We were taken out one after other to into a room where we were tortured and had cool water poured on us.”