‘Would be’ asylum seeker claims torture under NIA custody

Sambou Fatty is Malang`s brother, he was also jailed

Malang Fatty from Latrikunda-Sabiji in the Serrekunda metropolis of The Gambia claims to have been tortured, while in custody of the country`s notorious National Intelligence Services.

Fatty 33 is among the many political prisoners recently released by the new President Barrow administration after serving more than three years of a five year jail term on guilt of seditious charges.

According to Fatty, he has been a supporter of the Unite Democracy Party (UDP) in the 2006 general elections. However, he said he was jobless and decided to leave the country to Europe on September 8th 2013 via the Senegal-Gambia border, where he ran out of luck and was nabbed by immigration officers.  

He said: ‘‘since I am not working, my brother helped me to get a political asylum, and while on my as I arrived at Amdalai\Karang (Senegal Gambia border) border post.

“I was screened seriously by Immigration officers, who later detected the asylum document and they handed it over to Police CID, who also contacted the then deputy director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in Banjul, Mr. Yankuba Badjie, asking them to transport me to their headquarters immediately, which the officers complied.”

According to Fatty, upon arrival at the NIA, they took him directly to an interrogation office, where he was asked how he got asylum attestation documents.

“I could not do anything but tell them the truth, which I did and they later asked me to call my brother but before he comes, I spend two weeks under their custody. 

“One day, my brother (Sambou Fatty) visited me at headquarters where he was also told that he is under arrest and keep him together with me,’’ said Fatty.

On how he was treated with his brother at the Agency`s office, Mr. Fatty said in the presence of Yankuba Badjie the then Deputy Director of the Agency, Jungulars (torture specialists) stormed the place on black facial masks and started beating them.  

He said: “Everyday they used to beat us for about 3 hours each. I even recognized one of them but I don’t talk because I was afraid and am sure he also recognized me, and later I saw him stepping back.

“After beating us they started to mock us, saying we are the political asylum seekers and who spoils the image of Jammeh’s government.”

According to him, they spent week’s detention at the NIA before being arranged at the High Court in Banjul.  

Fatty said when he heard that President Adama Barrow won the presidential election, it was a moment of happiness for him and was singing in prison saying that “Jammeh is going as he had harvest what he grow.” 

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