By Mustapha Jallow
The long-serving former Intelligence chief of the defunct NIA Yankuba Badjie, who is currently standing trial along with seven senior agents of the former intelligence outfit, are still held in their punishment cells at the maximum security wing of the country’s central prisons at Mile Two, concerned security sources confirmed to this medium.
Badjie and co-agents are said to have been denied family visits for four days; that they are still detained in Confinement cells despite family members being allowed access to meet them. According to a family source, they are not pleased in the manner they were removed from remand and put in confinement cells, as if they have been judged and sentenced already.
“Our visit times starts from Monday to Friday only, and the remaining days, we are not allowed access,’’ the family source told this reporter.
Meanwhile, security sources said the former intelligence officers were accused masterminding the recent protest of prisoners. According to sources the ex-spy chief and his co-associates, have denied the allegation and said they have never participated in or masterminded such an activity.
It could be recalled that there were many remand prisoners held for years without re-appearing in Court, which is a violation of their Human Rights. According to sources, this violation of their rights resulted in prisoners locking themselves in their cells, with six prison Wardens as hostages; that the alleged protest was spearheaded by Muhammed Jaw, Ansu Jarju, Ousman Sonko and Bo Badjie, who demanded to meet relevant authorities and lodge a complaint on the unfair treatment within the prisons.
Highly placed security sources reveal that the main gate keys of the remand wing, and the keys to eleven cell, were controlled by the alleged ring leaders, preventing prison Wardens on duty from going home until their demands were met.
“The prison authorities are suppressing our welfare, regardless of the Court order that remanded us. Some prisoners receive inhumane treatment in the prisons,’’ a serving intelligence agent told this reporter. “We want human rights groups and international organizations to come to the prisons to see the facts for themselves,” the sources said.
Prisons spokesperson Modou Lamin Ceesay, said he is not aware of any torture on any prisoner but confirmed the transfer of Yankuba Badjie and seven others to confinement cells; that the authorities acted within the Laws of the prison, in transferring them.
“As far as security officers are remanded by the Court, we have the rights to take them to confinement or any place in the prisons, for security reasons and their own safety,” he said.
Badjie and co. were remanded by the Banjul High Court, waiting for another hearing on 8th October 2018.