In a rather dramatic move, The Gambian government today arraigned some of the protesters, who were believed to have been tortured to death, in court with the exception of Ebrima Sandeng, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Among the arraigned the detainees were Fatoumatta Jawara, Modou Ngum, Nogi Njie, Fatou Camara and co. The detainees have been formally charged with unlawful assembly, disturbing the peace, violating the public order Act, and so on.
The detainees appeared weak, pale and depressed. They have been detained for couple of weeks without any formal charges filed against them. It was today, when the state finally decided to bring them to court.
The detainees were said to be have been briefly interviewed by their lawyers. It has been alleged that some of the female detainees have complained about being sexually molested during the course of the torture sessions spearheaded by Jammeh’s assassin team called the jungulars. Allegations are that the detainees were raped by their captives.
Marks of torture were also visible on the bodies of the arraigned protesters. The detainees were warned not to disclose the mistreatment meted out to them during the course of their detention. But sources said some of the detainees have decided to privately inform their lawyers that they were mercilessly tortured and raped.
Attorneys representing the accused persons, could not be reached for confirmation about the allegations of rape and torture meted out to their clients by Jammeh’s guards. The detainees are yet to be granted court bail.
Meanwhile, the state is yet to produce the body of Ebrima Sandeng. Mr. Sandeng was alleged to have been tortured to death by guards led by one Sulayman Sambou. His remains were buried at the Coastal village of Tanji.
In another development, Ousainou Darboe and co’s bail application is due for hearing on Thursday. Mr. Darboe and his co accused persons have been accused of organizing a protest march without a permit from the state.