Nogoi Njie who was arrested together with Solo Sandeng has stated how she and her fellow detainees were severely tortured like animals which led to the ultimate death in custody of Solo Sandeng. It would be recalled that, a protest led by Solo Sandeng demanding electoral reforms in the Gambia was staged on 14th April 2016, which led to the arrest and torture of several members of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) including Fatoumata Jawara, Fatou Camara, Nogoi Njie, Modou Ngum and Solo Sandeng. In demanding the release of Solo and Co “Dead or Alive”, the UDP leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe also took to the streets on the 16th April, who was also arrested together with his entire party executives.
According to the affidavit by Nogoi Njie, they were treated like animals as the people who were assigned to torture them were all intoxicated and have no mercy or remorse. This story is a very gruesome one, however, it needed to be told for people to understand the cruelty Gambians have been in since 1994.
Referring to the cruelty meted on her, Nogoi Njie said, her middle finger was first broken by one of her torturers in the notorious National Intelligence Agency in Banjul “One of them then took hold of my middle left finger and bent it until it broke,” Nogoi Njie stated. She went on to say “They jump on top of me and tried to remove my clothes and when I resisted, they pulled my clothing and tore it removing same from my body.” She added, “I was left naked except the short wrapper I wore underneath my clothing.”
Nogoi Njie also described the men she met in a room “When I got into the room and found three men fully clothed in black hoods and gloves, they asked me to lie down on a table and when I did, they started beating me continuously like an animal for a long time.” Nogoi Njie Said, “My whole body was damaged and bleeding.”
Meanwhile, according to Madam Njie, the following day, Friday 15th April, her torturers slaughtered 3 rams to celebrate their inhumane and barbaric act meted on them. Nogoi said, Fatoumata Jawara fainted and Fatou Camara was having problems breathing, “I then pulled them (Fatou Camara and Fatoumata Jawara) towards me and started crying and asked them to be brave.
“There was a young man watching them who called out one Sheikh Omar Jeng (Sir Jeng) for assistance, in Sir Jeng called one Dr Sanyang “Who came to check us, after which he told Sir Jeng in our presence, that I had high blood pressure and diabetes, while Fatou Camara had breathing problems and Fatoumata Jawara also had a medical problem,” Nogoi Njie said.
She further mentioned, Dr Sanyang warned Sir Jeng that “If we are touched again and anything that happens to us, they will be responsible.” At which point, “the three of us could not even walk,” due to the beating and injuries they sustained.
Mrs Njie also went on to describe how Solo Sandeng was treated, “They brought in Solo, they had already beaten him, his body was all swollen and he was in a severe pain and his body was bleeding all over.”As Nogoi observes, “I saw Solo lying on the Bahama grass next to the table flat on the ground badly beating and bleeding profusely, I shouted the name of God and called out to Solo, at the moment I thought he was dead, he did not respond to my call, I saw him moving his head from one side to another.” Again Mrs Njie said, “I called out to Solo, but he did not respond, he was completely naked, just as the way his mother gave birth to him,” Nogoi Njie stressed.
However, in her statement, Nogoi Njie did not make mention of being raped, she said, the man responsible for taking her to the men to be raped, said to the seven men in Mandinka dialect, “I brought you an onion” and the men responded that he should put me on a table so that “They can break the onion into two.” Nogoi Njie said to the men, “I’m not an onion but a human being like you and an age mate of your mothers,” they asked me to lie down on the table but I refused.