Witness accuses PIU officers of inflicting cruel sufferings on them

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A 54-year-old supporter of the United Democratic Party has told the truth-seeking commission that he was subjected to severe inhumane treatment by the Police intervention unit, when he was arrested during the party’s rally and taken to the police headquarters in Banjul.

Testifying on events of the arrest of several UDP supporters, including himself and their subsequent torture at the mile two central prison in 2002, Lamin Jobe told the truth, reconciliation and reparations commission on Monday, that they were preparing for a meeting when were raided by the PIU officers who claimed that they were instructed to cancel the meeting.

Mr Jobe said when they insisted, the armed police officers started to beat them with their boots and they also pelted stones at them.

“I was beaten with their batons on all parts of my body until I became unconscious. They trampling on me on with their boots and walking on my body. That was when I was thrown into the pickup and the Sergeant took the gun and said to that if I get up, they are going to kill me.”

He said after they were beaten, he and five others were thrown into pickup car and taken to the police headquarters where they spent sleepless nights due to the conditions of the cell.

“The cell at mile two was very dirty. It had bad scent, and there is urine everywhere. In the morning, one will not be able to breath and they have to cover their nose and it is worse at night. I used to suggest that they use my money and buy mosquito coils for us but they will refused to do that. We were bitten by mosquitoes and if you kill a mosquito, it’s like you kill a hen,” he added.

Mr Jobe said they were also subjected to torture by mask officers for eight nights.

“They came in the cells at night with their batons and some of them have brooms that they used to beat us up. They will come at night and torture us seriously. The eight nights we spent there where accompanied with beatings. They will not only beat us with the brooms but they also have hosepipes.”

While in detention, Mr Jobe said their torturers told them that the UDP party is anti-Yahya Jammeh and that they are responsible for all the problems in the country.

The Banjul-born who suffered 24 stitches on his hand, said he is still feeling the pain especially during cold seasons.

Written by Juldeh Njie

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