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22 of our tortured colleagues died, 6 bedridden—TRRC witness


A Commission witness on Wednesday described an emotional moment when soldiers have asked a woman who was on menstrual cycle to undress and when she hesitated, Kawsu Camara alias Bambardeh kicked her at her private part. Camara was with Almamo Manneh. “There was blood,” Sainey Faye said crying.  

An alleged torture victim of the former dictator Yahya Jammeh has told the Truth Commission probing his human rights violations that 22 of those tortured with them have died.

Sainey Faye, a native of Sanjal Sarrakunda who was arrested on October 12, 1995, said six others are bedridden. It is not clear in Faye’s testimony however if their death was directly as a result of torture.

The seventeenth Commission witness submitted a list of names of both the dead and the bedridden colleagues to the Commission on Wednesday following his testimony.

Like Batch Samba Jallow, the twelfth Commission witness, Faye, a businessman with a shop at Serrekunda market, was arrested on suspicion that he was working with one Captain Ebou Jallow to overthrow the Jammeh regime.

The military were only settling in following a coup and were cleaning their pathway to entrench themselves. Faye said he has never met Ebou Jallow.

He believed they are being used to justify the arrest of prominent people among them Mamadou Cham alias MC Cham, Omar Jallow and Ousainou Darboe.

Faye named Wandifa Jeng, Baba Saho, Musa Kinteh among those who tortured him at the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The NIA was his second destination after arrest. They were first taken to Kairaba Police Station where he had arrived with a broken leg as a result of torture.

Then after they were taken to NIA, he said they were tortured again on orders of Daba Marenah before being transferred to Fajara Barracks.

At the barracks, their torture would intensify. They were, in addition to physical torture, denied food as they were kept under a horrible condition.

“We were told we will be taken to firing squad (at Fajara Barracks)… They can do anything… That was a terrible night. But fortunately they did not carry out the threats,” said Faye.

He said two trucks full of soldiers descended upon us at the Barracks.

“Almamo Manneh gave them orders that they should start beating. They came with sticks, horse pipes… They hit us anywhere: heads, hands… and that lasted for, I can’t remember,” said Faye.

Manneh was reportedly a close friend of Jammeh who would later be killed by the autocratic ruler himself. He was accused of coup.

Faye and his colleagues were released later after 23 months in illegal detention and some of them charged with sedition and subsequently treason. But in both cases, the trial was unsuccessful due to lack of evidence.

They were released and asked to stay away from politics or any forms of gathering or association.

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