By Mustapha Darboe
The family of a Gambian asylum seeker who died in custody of police in Switzerland, has urged the Alpine country’s authorities to explain the cause of his death.
Lamin Fatty commonly known as ‘Lang Kaba’ is a 23-year-old native of Salikenni, Central Baddibu but grew up in the Serekunda metropolis.
He was arrested by the Swiss police a fortnight ago and was later found dead in a police cell in the city of Blecherette-Lausanne under unknown circumstances.
According to a family source, Fatty had some health problems and many believed he was epileptic. The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said the Swiss authorities have a question to answer and they must explain why and how the young man died in martial custody.
“My assumption is that he was either manhandled by the police as alleged by many or he didn’t take his medication when he was arrested. In fact, we believe he was not given any attention while he was in police custody,” the source said.
Fatty was resident in Italy for about two years before moving to Switzerland. According to Swiss media reports, he was mistakenly arrested for his namesake (also a Gambian) whose case for asylum was rejected based on the EU Dublin Regulation and was supposed to be sent back to Italy by the police.
According to family source, the late Lamin Fatty was undergoing medical treatment in Switzerland and had recently undergone a major surgery.
News of his death was first published in the Swiss newspaper Le Matin and it prompted Gambians and some human rights defenders in Switzerland to protest against police brutality on immigrants and refugees.