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‘Ex-Governor Ganyie Touray ordered my illegal detention’- TRRC witness

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Binta Kuyateh was arrested at a rally in Brikamaba and taken to Bansang Police, later to the Janjanbureh prison where she was illegally detained for 23 days

Binta Kuyateh was the third witness before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission on Monday

Binta Kuyateh was a supporter of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party before she changed allegiance to United Democratic Party (UDP).

UDP, a party which was former president Yahya Jammeh’s main challenger since 1996, has had dozens of its supporters tortured by the former autocratic ruler.

Kuyateh said while at a political rally in Brikamaba, she was arrested by a paramilitary officer and taken to the office of the then Governor Ganyie Touray.

Kuyateh said she briefly met the Governor and his deputy and though they did not tell her what she has done, Touray threatened her a lengthy jail term.

“Governor Ganyie Touray told me you will not see the sun for a very long time,” said Kuyateh.  After she left the Governor’s office, Kuyateh was taken to the Janjanbureh Prison.

She was detained in the prison for 23 days without charge or being told what she has done wrong.

The condition in her cell wasn’t easy either. In the cell where she was kept, there was a bucket containing human excrement and maggots were all over the place, she told the Truth Commission.

And not for a single day was she allowed to take bath.

“I could not eat. There was human excrement all over the place. I could not hold food in my hands,” she said.

After her release, Kutyateh said she was taken to the Sapo River where she was bathed. But her troubles have not ended.

She was tormented with another court case that never had a day before a magistrate. After 4 months of court case that never was, she was freed by the magistrate.

“I was never told what I have done up to this day…,” said Kuyateh.

But Kuyateh said her arrest was because of her association with the UDP, a then opposition party which was Jammeh’s main challenger.

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