Presidential adviser under fire for ‘gloating’ over tear-gassing UDP supporters

Presidential adviser under fire for 'gloating' over tear-gassing UDP supporters

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Special presidential adviser Alkali Conteh has come under criticism after a video emerged on social media showing him bragging about the tear gassing of opposition UDP supporters whom he accused of taking the law into their own hands.

Last week, soon after rejecting the election results pending investigations, UDP leader Ousainu Darboe’s supporters converged at his Pipeline residence where a fracas occurred between them and riot police who tried to disperse them. Tear gas was fired into the party leader’s house leading to about a dozen hospitalisation from the effect of the gas.  The National human right commission which successfully intervened for a peaceful end to the standoff between the police and the UDP, said the police regretted that incident.

Two PIU officers captured on video gloating over tear gassing the crowds are reportedly being investigated by the police human rights section.

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 In the case of Mr Conteh, an influential strategist of President Barrow’s NPP, he was heard saying: ”We told them that we would beat them three times and we have wrestled and beaten them in the ash. They wanted to create noise and take the law into their own hands with just their 25 percent against our 53 percent. But when we sent them a bazooka, and when tear gas was spread under the beds, they came out to speak something clear. He (referring to UDP leader) came out to condemn his supporters against causing trouble but why didn’t he condemn Bakary Trawalley who has been doing similar things since long time ago.”

Mr Conteh’s remarks, made to hilarious laughter from people around him, drew sharp condemnation from the public. ”It is very disappointing that a senior presidential adviser would gloat about human right abuses. If this is how people close to the president thinks and behave, then we are not out of the woods yet,” a political activist commented on social media.

“This is typical hate speech and very incriminating for both Barrow and Alkali Conteh. In the video, Conteh is still not celebrating but very tensed. Why?” asked Sarjo Bayang a Gambian based in the UK.