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Saturday, July 2, 2022

WOMAN ‘BEATEN’ BY POLICE SEEKS JUSTICE

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By Omar Bah

Fatou Mboge, who was seen on video being kicked arrested by Police Intervention Unit during a riot of UDP supporters around Pipeline Road on December 5, has said she wants her beaters to be prosecuted for the pain and suffering inflicted on her.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday Fatou Mboge, a member of the UDP taskforce, was part of hundreds of party supporters who came out to show solidarity with the party leader after he rejected the December 2021 presidential election results.

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Narrating her encounter with the police, Miss Mboge alleged that she was confronted by a PIU officer around Africell. “I was there looking for water to drink when this female PIU officer confronted me and asked me to remove the UDP banner I was wearing, saying that it was not appropriate for me to wear the banner on that day. When I asked her why, she grabbed my hands and tried to forcefully remove it. I refused. That was the time she scolded me and I too scolded her and she then attempted to beat me but I held her hand and moments later, a vehicle full of PIU officers arrived and they all jumped out of the vehicle and about six of them grabbed me and started beating me. They were kicking me from all sides”.

An emotional Miss Mboge said she was rescued by one of the PIU officers, before being whisked into a waiting vehicle.

“I later managed to make a telephone call to a friend who reported the matter to the UDP executive who later came to rescue me from the police and took me to the party leader’s house and later rushed me to hospital. But after a few weeks, my body started hurting again. Then I went to Ahmadiyya Hospital and did an X-ray but they said it was just internal pain and that there was no broken bone,” she added.

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Blood in urine

Madam Mboge said she was all along on medication but her situation started deteriorating around April. “I started feeling deep pain in my body and since then, I am not myself and it has been weeks now since I started urinating blood with serious pain. I have visited different hospitals since then but to no avail. I especially want the government to understand my pain and bring the culprits to justice because there is a video of those who were arresting me, so the police could easily identify them,” she said. “I feel pain the whole night.”

The Standard was shown Miss Mboge’s Ahmadiya Muslim Hospital, Bundung Hospital, and Lamtoro papers confirming that she has pain in her lower chest and hip as a result of ‘beatings’.

A senior member of The Gambia civil society coalition in the United States, who is leading the campaign for Miss Mboge to get treatment, Lamin Chamang Komma, said a group of concerned Gambians across the globe is mobilising funds to facilitate her treatment. “I have personally visited her and feel like she really needs urgent help right now,” Komma said.

Komma said the minister of interior and the IGP would be held accountable if anything happens to the 29-year-old woman.

Speaking to The Standard from his US base, Komma said the police should avoid being used by politicians to inflict pain on Gambians.

“I think our security forces should take lessons from the TRRC that impunity will not strive because a day will come, they will be accountable for their actions. We have just read that the government will reject all recommendations for amnesty in their White Paper,” he said.

When contacted for comments, the police spokesperson Lamin Njie said he has no clue about the incident but promised to make a followup to find out what happened.

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