Thursday, June 16, 2016

Solo Sandeng died in custody, admits the Jammeh regime. What about Sheriff Diba and others?

Jammeh's Director of Public Prosecution 
After advancing endless stories and blatant lies about what happened to Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the UDP youth leader who was arrested and taken away by Jammeh's security agents, it is being reported that the regime has finally admitted in court that the youth leader died during "interrogation"at the hands of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Immediately following his arrest, we reported that Solo Sandeng died at the hands of the NIA torturers and his body disposed of at the Tanji NIA office complex.

The story was vehemently denied at the time until Yaya Jammeh finally admitted in a Jeune Afrique interview recently that indeed Solo Sandeng died while under interrogation.

In fact, he went out of his way to wonder why everyone was obsessed that one person died while in custody. According to Jammeh, he cannot comprehend why the international community, particularly the United Nations is demanding an investigation of the death of one person who died in custody during interrogation.  He asked rhetorically "what's the problem?  People die in detention or during interrogation.  It's common," he exclaimed.

His admission, whether it was inadvertent or not, cleared the way for the prosecution to come out clean today to admit that Solo Sandeng died in the hands of Jammeh's security agents. What remains now is for Solo Sandeng's body be exhumed and handed over to his family.

The admission also came at the heels of the escape of the "NIA doctor" from The Gambia who was called upon to provide medical assistance to what was described by an eyewitness as a "lifeless body." Jammeh is worried that the " NIA doctor" will be a valuable witness in shedding light, not only in the Solo Sandeng case but in numerous other torture cases some of which have resulted in deaths.  He may also be carrying in his possession video evidence which could further incriminate a regime that systematically use torture as a means of remaining in power.

Readers will recall that Sheriff Diba, the union leader of the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA) also died under similar circumstances and his death was also denied by the regime.  In this case, Jammeh's Information, Sheriff Bojang, denied reports that the trade unionist was tortured and killed by the country's security agents.  The Information Minister told AFP that GNTCA leader and other union officials "were never picked up or at anytime detained by the National Intelligence Agency."
The Minister proceeded to offer his own diagnosis of the medical condition of the union leader who suffered from "...uncomplicated malaria and hypertension."  His illness took a turn for the worse" and died the next day.  There was no evidence of external or internal injury," Minister Bojang concluded his diagnosis.

The International Transport Workers' Federation's official who demanded an independent inquiry into Mr. Diba's death could not help but describe Minster Bojang's performance as nothing more than "sophistry."

The international community will continue to demand for independent investigations of all victims of the vile regime of Yaya Jammeh who have been tortured and murdered by his security agents.