By Yankuba Jallow
A 20-year-old victim of police brutality on Sunday afternoon June 21st, identified the Police Officer who he alleged tortured him on Friday evening.
Baba Secka sustained severe injuries on his head and body. According to him, he was beaten by a Police Officer called Wandifa who came with a soldier to his compound in Serre Kunda. Baba Secka identified Wandifa in a parade held at the back of the Serre Kunda Police Station on Sunday afternoon. The team was headed by one Inspector Sanyang of the Serre Kunda Police Station and the suspect Wandifa, was then asked to report to the station on Monday at 9 am by his superiors.
Secka told the Police that he does not know the soldier who joined Wandifa when he was being tortured, adding that he cannot identify him. The parade was witnessed by the victim’s family members including his father.
According to Secka, he was found standing at the gate of their compound by the Police and soldiers who were chasing and beating up vendors. After beating him, Secka said his hands were cuffed and he was taken somewhere close to the Serre Kunda Market where the handcuff was removed and he was asked to go home; that he went with his father to the Serre Kunda Police Station to make a formal complaint but that until today, their statements were not recorded by the Police.
Secka said he was injured severely on his head and he was rushed to the Serre Kunda Clinic where he received medical attention; that he sustained other injuries on his body and is currently nursing them.
It is reported that every day, Officers of the Gambia Police Force and the Army Taskforce in Serre Kunda, chase market vendors after 6 pm and most of the time beat them.
According to Secka and several eyewitnesses, the victim was not standing on the highway but was found inside their home at the gate on his bicycle.
“I was standing near our compound gate on my bicycle when I saw the Police and soldiers chase and beat vendors out of the market. I stood until they passed and one of the Police asked me to disperse from the area. I told him that ‘here is my home’ and I was not a vendor,” Secka said; that before completing his statement the Police Officer started beating him and this was when the soldier joined in.
“They were all dressed in their full uniform. I know the Policeman very well and I can always identify him,” Secka said.
This Foroyaa reporter spoke to over ten eyewitnesses of the incident who all confirmed that Secka was beaten by the Police Officer and the soldier inside their compound. The vendors told this reporter that the Police Officer and some soldiers usually come every day to the market and its vicinity, to chase them away.
Other vendors expressed similar remarks and called on Government to put a stop to Police brutality.
The Secka family said they reported the matter to the Serre Kunda Police Station on Sunday night but the Officer found on duty, referred them to the Serre Kunda Clinic; that since then, their statements and that of the eyewitnesses, have not been taken.