Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hospitalized soldier continues detention


By Mustapha Jallow

Lance Corporal Samboujang Bojang, a member of the Gambia Armed Forces who was hospitalized after alleging torture at Intelligence headquarters, has been returned to his detention cell at the Guards Battalion in Fajara Barracks on Friday, 11 August 2017, at around 3pm, according to military sources.

LCpl Bojang spent 11 days at a military clinic for the treatment of injuries on his hands and feet and has been discharged from the clinic and returned to his detention cell with full Military Police escort.

His wife, Mrs. Sunkaru Jarju told this medium that her husband has been discharged from the military clinic only to be escorted back to where he was detained. ‘

‘This is very painful for me and our only child and our lives are yet to return to normal in the absence of my husband. The authorities, especially the military, within their powers, should take action urgently to ensure my husband’s release from detention without delay,’’ she said.

‘‘He still complains of pain on his feet. He is not physically fit. None of the authorities have visited him to ascertain the cause of his injuries. This is unfair treatment on us because the state should have launched their investigations long since,’’ she said. She said that there must be a thorough investigation into her husband’s bruises on his hands, adding that her husband couldn’t walk properly still now. ‘‘He was denied family visits during his admission and I was the only one allowed to visit him and my visit will last for only 5 minutes. If he had done anything wrong let the authorities tell us and not subject him to one place,’’ she said.

She appealed to President Barrow’s administration to investigate the allegation of inhuman treatment meted on her husband while in the hands of security agents and release him from unlawful detention as he is the breadwinner of the family; that his detention has left a big financial vacuum in the family.

It could be recalled that LCpl Bojang was picked up at the Fajara camp by Military Police in the midst of a ‘‘WhatsApp’’ allegation on 12 July. He was in detention without court appearance until on Monday, 31 July, when a senior soldier came for him and took him to the National Intelligence Agency at around 8am. His wife protested by demanding answers from the authorities after realizing that her husband sustained marks or bruises on his hands and was not walking properly after he was taken to the military clinic from the NIA.

Recently the country’s Military Chief, Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh, told this medium that if Lance Corporal Bojang was taken to the State Intelligence Agency and then sustained bruises, it is something that would be investigated to ascertain what actually was responsible for the bruises.

The intelligence chief has also promised to invite the press in due course, on the alleged torture of Lance Corporal Bojang while under interrogation but since then the press has been waiting.

GAF spokesperson when contacted said he was not aware of the discharge of LCpl Bojang and said the investigation about the bruises has not been done yet because of the ongoing investigation on the ‘‘WhatsApp’’ group.

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