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Former soldier Gomez cries while recounting ordeal under detention


A former Gambian youth minister under Yahya Jammeh, Sheriff Gomez, has broken into tears for several times while explaining to the Commission probing human rights violations of the former ruler the torture and mock execution he has been through immediately after the 1994 takeover.

Gomez, the third witness before the Gambia’s TRRC investigating the human rights violations of Jammeh, has been jailed without a single court appearance for 27 months by the soldiers.

A senior military officer who holds the key to country’s arsenal at the time of the coup, Gomez said Jammeh’s close aide Edward Singhateh deliberately missed him with a bullet on July 22 when they were taking the keys to the arsenal from him.

“Then he told me next time I will not miss,” said Gomez with spatters of tears in his eyes.

Edward Singhateh, the former vice president of the Commission of the Economic Community of the West African States, was one of the leaders of the 1994 military takeover in Gambia.

Gomez, who would later serve under Jammeh as both Interior and Youth minister, was a senior officer in the army at the time of the coup.

He explained how he was subjected to severe torture and mock execution because of their refusal to be part of the coup.

Gomez explained how he was a witness to an execution of three detainees and how some detainees were subjected to electric shock.

“They took some of our colleagues out and the next few minutes, you hear volleys of gun fire. Then they come back for others and do the same… They transfer these people to another location,” Gomez broke as he explained the mock execution.

Gomez explained the torture meted at RSM Jeng, Ebrima Chongan and Press Jagne. He said Jammeh was not a soldier because he does not have the discipline.


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