By Mustapha Jallow
In fulfillment of its mandate to unearth the truth regarding the 22 years of rights abuses and violations of the regime of Yaya Jammeh, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on 18th January 2019, visited the maximum security wing at the Mile Two prisons.
The visit according to Commissioner Lamin J Sise, is meant to enable them inspect and see for themselves, the conditions of the jailed and tortured officials of the Junta in the years after the 1994 Coup d’etat; that this would also enable them verify information surrounding the prisons and its conditions. The delegation was headed by head of the commission, and its legal team.
Prions director Ansumana Manneh, took the Commissioners on a conducted tour of the prison cells such as security wings No: 5, 4 and 1; the main cells in the yard, the remand wing, toilets and staff quarters. Manneh implored on Commissioners for prisons and detention centers to be reformed; that the conditions at the country’s main prison need to be changed for the better. Manneh said security Wing No: 1 is a 12 room cell, built by the colonialist; that the cells solitary confinement is 3 by 2 meters.
According to Commissioner Sise, the importance of the mission is to see for themselves what the witnesses have been telling them. ‘‘We have come here because it is important for us to understand what the witnesses have been telling us,” he said.
It could be recalled that several military personnel who served in the Junta of 1994, explained at the TRRC hearing on the state of conditions at Mile two prisons. Witnesses also disclosed that the food at the said prison in 1994, was not fit for human consumption.