EYEAFRIVCA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Nogoye Njie, one of the women who were victims of the United Democratic Party (UDP) April 14 2016 electoral reform protest in The Gambia Tuesday explained tales of severe torture and other inhumane treatment she and other detainees suffered in the hands of one of former president Yahya Jammeh’s most feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Testifying before the Truth, reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), Mrs Njie said while they were under the NIA detention, she was tortured and the operatives threatened to hang her to death should she cause them any trouble.
“I was wounded. A man came and said he was sent by President Yahya Jammeh to ask me how much it will cost him if my group wants to cross carpet to his party. I told him that it would cost him nothing and I am not ready for any cross carpeting.”
She also accused the defunct NIA operatives of killing Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the then leader of the UDP youth wing, who was alleged to have died in detention following maltreatment by the operatives of the feared agency.
According to her, the directives to torture Mr Sandeng was given by the agency’s former operation commander Sheikh Omar Jeng to Tamba Mansirreh, Haruna Suso and others which resulted to his death.
According to her, they have suffered big time in the hands of the NIA, stating that one man called James once took Solo Sandeng and told him to sit in a dirty stagnant water with urinate but she told them that Solo will not.
She said Modou Ngum, who was among them was bleeding and he had to be socking his blood to avoid losing all of it. “At another time, they came and took Solo and he told me to tell Darboe to take care of his family because they were going to kill him. His face was covered and taken away. We were in the room and we heard him screaming and they later called me. One man wanted to blindfold me but I slapped him. When the man took me, they all shouted and said the onion is here, bring her and let us slice her.”
She said she saw Solo nearly naked on the ground wounded seriously. She said the men started to beat her and insulting her but she was also fighting back, saying as Solo was sitting, someone came and said to Tamba Mansirreh that Solo should not sit. She said it was Tamba Mansirreh who broke her finger.
Mr Sandeng was arrested and detained with Nogoye, Fatoumatta Jawara and others following April 2016 electoral reform protest. UDP later alleged that Sandeng died after being tortured by the NIA and that two other party members have also died in custody later.
During the April 14 protest, the demonstrators waved banners in Serekunda, with slogans such as, “We need electoral reforms and freedom of speech.” Security forces broke up the protest and arrested many of the participants.
On April 16, members of the UDP party gathered again to demand justice for Sandeng’s death and the release of other members of their party, where Police fired tear gas at them and arrested at least five executive members of the party, including its leader and Secretary General Ousainou Darboe.