By Baba Sillah
Kaddy Camara, the 26th witness and the first woman to appear before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission has claimed that her late husband, Mamadi Sabally lost his manhood as a result of torture he suffered in 1995 during the regime of the AFPRC junta.
In her testimony, Mrs Camara, a resident of Jarra Soma and mother of 9, said her husband was a businessman and a former supporter of Pierre S Njie, the founder of United Party under whose ticket he represented Sabach Sanjal in parliament.
She disclosed that her husband was arrested in Farafenni while returning from Mauritania, adding that this followed so many police visits to his house in Soma.
“We informed him through former vice president Saihou Sabally who was in Dakar for him to stay there as the police were asking for him but my husband insisted that he will come back and that’s how they arrested him at Farafenni,” she recalled.
According to her, it took a long time before the family got to know that he was detained at Fajara barracks, adding that her husband had proposed to commit suicide whenever he talked with his first wife about the serious pain he experienced as a result of torture.
Madam Camara claimed that her husband was arrested as a result of the monies he collected from the rented house of Saihou Sabally in Jarra Soma which he normally took to Mr Sabally in Dakar.
The witness, who was praised by the commission for being courageous, further narrated that after her husband spent 15 months in detention, he was moved to ‘Bambadinka’, the notorious torture chamber at the NIA by FRI Jammeh, a former police chief.
She continued: “After the release of my husband, he could not walk by himself. He was picked up at the bus station by relatives in Jarra Soma because his legs were swollen and could not even talk at the time for almost a week. We treated him with traditional medicine and that was the time he started urinating and vomiting dark blood and also had respiratory problems. Few days later when he started to recover, he called three of us as his wives to inform us that he has lost his manhood. He told us that the only officers he recognised and were involved in his torture were Daba Marenah and FRI Jammeh.”
The witness also narrated the impact of the arrest of her late husband and his death and as a result their assets were seized from them by the Mansakonko Area Council which she said has affected the family especially the children who were going to school at the time.
“We suffered a lot during the arrest and after the death of our husband. Some days we will go without food, nobody visited us or to visit anyone because we were termed as ‘opposition’. Our condition did not improve; it got worse at the time of his death as all our properties were forcefully seized from us by the Area Council. No reason[s] was given to us for the seizure but we have documents to support our claim,” she explained.
Sittings continue today.