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City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Security personnel raid, ‘torture’ teenager for filming

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By Alagie Manneh &
Tabora Bojang

A teenager was seriously hit and knocked to the ground by several men in various security uniforms and civilian clothes in Bakau Saturday evening.
The members of the various security units were reportedly on a routine patrol enforcing Covid-19 regulations. The three-vehicle team converged and ambushed a local but prominent restaurant by the seaside in Bakau, sending dozens of people to flee frantically in fear.

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As they made arrests, a young boy in the crowd started shooting a video, an eyewitness told The Standard.
“He was filming them because they were assaulting a guy already in cuffs before throwing him in the back of a pick-up vehicle,” Papis Mendy told The Standard.
He said the boy, identified as Ozil [not his real name], was a good and decent boy who comes to the seaside to play football.

“I know him. He is barely 15, and they beat him mercilessly. The knocked him off, unconcoius. All of us here saw it. You wonder if these people watch the TRRC, or if it even means a thing to them.”

Edrissa Jammeh, an eye witness, said it was unacceptable routine behaviour on the side of the officers. “Any time they arrived at the beach to enforce the Covid restrictions, they would beat, manhandle and intimidate youth and those here.
“It is scary and reminsecent of the Jammeh era. Nothing has changed. I think these people are still very brutal because it was disgusting to see dozens of full bodied men descend on a teenager to mercilessly beat him like that because he filmed an illegal, lawless activity by seemingly law enforcers,” Jammeh reprimanded.

Another eye witness and immigration officer, Baye Njie, said he had to restrain one of the officers involved, before telling him to do things by the book.
He added: “This was very disappointing. You saw it yourself. This is not the way we expect our security to behave in this so-called new Gambia. We are all peaceful and law-abiding citizens. When you come to us be polite and search if necessary but, we have passed those days where you can manhandle citizens any way you want.”

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