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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Councillor demands apology, payment for damages from IGP

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The councilor of Tallinding South Ward, Karamo Ceesay, has written to the Inspector General of Police demanding an apology and compensation for damages allegedly caused by riot police on February 18 at the local youth centre.

In the letter he shared with this paper, Councillor Ceesay said the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers stormed the centre where members of an APRC faction were holding an event and used “excessive force, firing tear gas indiscriminately into the crowd”, and some people were “badly beaten and sustained injuries, and teargased”.

The tear gas, he said, did not only affect those present at the event but also reached individuals in their homes. “Particularly distressing is the damage inflicted upon my office space, located within the community centre. The PIU officers’ actions resulted in broken windows and two doors, damage to floral arrangements and decorations, harm to parked vehicles, damage to the community ambulance, and damage to glasses at the community clinic that shared a fence with the community centre,” Ceesay claimed.

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He said on 30 April 2023, a similar act occurred when NPP supporters forcefully broke and entered the centre without a police permit or an approval and the police refused to act when the matter was reported and instead assaulted his colleagues and arrested him. He said he reported the matter to the National Human Rights Commission.

“We find these two actions to be double standards and contradictions from The Gambia Police Force. The latest incident caused the brutalisation of innocent, unarmed and law-abiding citizens issued a valid permit by The Gambia Police Force.  Additionally, the conduct of the PIU officers caused significant distress and harm to the Tallinding community and its residents, and many individuals sustained injuries, with some experiencing severe health complications, notably asthmatic patients. Such blatant disregard for human rights is unacceptable,” he said.

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