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Demba Dem: TRRC witness who lost his kidney to torture

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Demba Dem said he saw former speaker and elder statesman Sheriff Mustapha Dibba being kicked and beaten at the headquarters of National Intelligence Agency.

Demba Dem was a National Assembly member for the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction Party. In 2006, while he was still working as a sitting lawmaker, Dem was arrested for allege involvement in the 2006 foiled coup plot led by Colonel Ndure Cham.

Following the foiled coup, about 70 Gambians were arrested, from both the military and the civilian population. Some prominent members among the arrested civilians were former speaker Sheriff Mustapha Dibba, Mariama Denton, Ramsia Diab, among others.

Dem said they were severely tortured while they were before an investigative panel at the National Intelligence Agency. He said he was brought a statement which they were asking him to sign but he refused because they were not his words.

The torture cost him his two kidneys.

“I am going under a kidney transplant… My kidneys are malfunctioning. Doctors said I need to make a transplant… My own brother is willing to give me his kidney and arrangements are underway to bring him over,” Dem, who currently resides in Netherlands, told the Truth Commission.

2006 foiled coup: Witness say Junglers torturing people were under influence of alcohol

Meanwhile, Dem said majority of the people arrested were severely tortured before they are taken before a panel of interviewees for confession. This information was corroborated by Captain Bunja Darboe who was also implicated in the coup.

Meanwhile, Dem said he saw the former intelligence chief Daba Marenah resting on his back at the Security Wing in Mile 2. He said Daba was staring at the ceiling after he was severely tortured.

Marenah was said to have escaped while being transported to Janjanbureh prison with Lt Ebou Lowe and RSM Alpha Bah but Dem said he suspect the 3 were killed by Junglers.

“Daba Marenah, Lt Ebou Lowe, RSM Alpha Bah and were collected 1 night and the information was that they were taken and killed… It was Tunbul Tamba who took them out of custody,” said Dem. Tunbul was a member of former president Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad call the Junglers.

Though Dem was also prosecuted alongside a number of others, he got freed by the court. He later fled to Senegal from where he moved to Netherlands.

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