Man Unable to Survive Torture by Police
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
A chaotic scene erupted in Numuyel village on Friday afternoon as 30-year-old Dembo Sibi’s dead-body arrived from the hospital. He died following a severe torture unleashed on him by the personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) camped in village.
An angry village mob surged toward the PIU camp with weapons for revenge, but thanks to the intervention of the Governor, a bloodier scene was avoided, albeit the villagers burnt-down the thatched-made PIU camp, The Daily News gathered.
Late Dembo’s ailing 60-year-old father, Sarjo Saibo Sibi, unsuccessfully fought back his tears as The Daily News approached him in his room on Sunday to discuss his son’s untimely death.
“When information reached me that my son was arrested by the police, I sent his brother Sulayman to go and negotiate his release,” the sixty-year-old man broke into tears.
“I gave Sulayman D500, but the officers said that amount was small. They demanded D3,000.”
Sarjo said he was not having that sum, but still managed to give D1500 to Sulayman, but the officers insisted to be paid D3, 000.
“When Sulayman returned with the sum, I told him let us leave everything in the hands of God,” the old man added.
According to Sulayman Sibi, he found his brother tied-tight with a rope against a tree while the officers were beating him.
“I told the officers to release him, but they refused unless I bring D3, 000.
“My brother (Dembo) called me as I went there to give him lunch. He said he could not eat; that he would die. Then the officers started beating him and forcing him to eat,” an equally sad brother has said.
The PIU officers arrested late Dembo at around 1:00 am on Friday for allegedly stealing a friend’s motor bike, villagers sources said.
However, the owner of the motor bike said at the time of the arrest, he told the officers that he allowed late Dembo to use his motor bike but one of the officers ordered him to shut up his mouth.
“That was how the officers took him away,” he explained. “When I went to the camp in the morning, I found Dembo was tied against a tree with wet clothes. I appeal them to release him, but they refused.
Muhammed Camara, who is overseeing the district in the absence of his brother, the chief, said it was around 9 a.m on Friday, when Dembo’s father called him requesting him to negotiate with the officers, but he told the old-man that he was busy at the time.
“I arrived at the camp by 4 pm. I found late Dembo flatly lying on the ground. I then called his brother who alongside the PIUs took him to the hospital.”
The Daily News could not contact the hospital for confirmation. But village sources said the hospital confirmed that Dembo passed-away before arriving at the hospital.
At the time of going to press, police spokesperson could not be reached on his phone for comment. But O.C Badjie of Basse Police Station said the case is being investigated. He said the corpse and the PIU officers involved have been taken to Banjul.
Family sources confirmed that the corpse is kept at the mortuary in Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
But it is unclear whether the PIU officers have been arrested or charged.
Late Dembo was survive with one wife and four children.
Author: Ousman Touray