Saturday, July 31, 2021

“The soldiers said I am a rebel”, TRRC Witness Tells Commissioners

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By Yankuba Jallow

Edrissa Njie, a resident of Farafenni, who was tortured by soldiers and NIA operatives in Banjul, has on Monday, 9th November 2020 informed the TRRC that he was detained at Mile Two Prison.

Njie was detained for five months at Mile 2 for allegedly beating a woman, an allegation he denied.

The Central Badibou born said the incident happened on the 22nd March 2010 in Farafenni. He explained that soldiers found him at his work place moulding blocks.

Njie was surrounded and arrested by soldiers from the Gambia Armed Forces.

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The mason was taken to a compound where he was shown a woman lying down. He said the woman was bleeding and her eyes were closed.

Njie was accused of participating in the torture of the helpless woman and at this point, he was told that he was under arrest.

The witness said he was tortured by the soldiers at the time of his arrest.

“They beat me. They were kicking me,” Njie said.

Witness Njie was forced to kneel on the floor and was taken to the main military barracks in Farafenni where he was held.

“The soldiers said I am a rebel,” Njie said.

Njie said the injured woman said rebels used to call her requesting information about the military barracks, but she always turned them down.

Njie was transferred to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters in Banjul where he was beaten severely by the operatives. He said at the NIA, he couldn’t sleep because there were no cartoons to sleep on.

Witness Njie was neither charged nor arraigned before any court of law.

He was moved to Mile 2 where he spent five months, a place he described as inhumane.
Njie testified that the injured woman vindicated him, but he was still held at Mile 2. One day, one G. Sowe informed him that he has been released and this was how he regained his lost freedom.

In his concluding remarks, Njie urged the government to consider inmates at Mile Two.

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