Source says journalist was in state custody
By Sanna Camara
As the world commemorates World Press Freedom Day 2015, a new leak from an intelligence source within the Gambia’s notorious NIA has revealed that the detained journalist has faced series of tortures both in the custody of the NIA and the president’s hit squad called “Junglars”.
“Like most other detainees at the NIA, Chief Ebrima Manneh was seriously tortured by the junglars and the military men after his arrest. The officers who tortured him include the late Captain Musa Jammeh, the late Captain Tumbul Tamba, Captain Sanna Manjang active member of the Junglers and the Armed Forces; Lt . Sang Michael Correa, Modou Jarjue, Alhagie Morr Jobe, and other members of the junglars,” said the source, who claimed to have a vast experience in national intelligence operations.
Journalist Ebrima Manneh, a senior reporter of the Daily Observer newspaper, was picked up by two agents of the NIA. Since then, his whereabouts have been unknown as government and its security agencies all denies he is in their custody.
Chief Manneh had collapsed on several occasions
“I remember a day when the late Tumbul Tamba told journalist Chief Manneh that he (Tamba) hates journalists and will kill anybody who wants to bring down the government,” the source said in a four-page document narrating the details of the fated journalist.
While still under their custody, the source said the late Capt. Musa Jammeh while in a state of drunkenness boasted aloud that: “this government is here to stay and we will crush anyone who tries to challenge us.”
“Until the time he was moved from the NIA, Chief Manneh had collapsed on several occasions due to his physical weakness. He has also been admitted at the RVTH on several occasions. What happens after he was moved from our custody I cannot say. It is not yet proven that he is dead, or in fact alive after this,” the document added.
President denied he was in state custody
As investigations into Ebrima Manneh’s case deepen mainly due to the mounted pressure and international outcry over his disappearance for many years, both the NIA and Interpol were tasked to investigate his whereabouts.
“At the NIA, we did not take it seriously because we already knew he was with us and that is why we were moving him from one detention center to another across the country, so that the UN investigators and other human rights agencies will not find him,” the source revealed.
The most disturbing part of the rvelations was the fact that President denied Manneh was in the state custody when that was untrue, the source claimed.
“The reason why the government was hiding him at the time was because our CiC (meaning commander in chief) and president, has already declared that Ebrima Manneh was not in state custody… It now becomes a complicated matter for Chief Ebrima Manneh, after spending years in detention, and [he] could not be produced,” the leak explained.
During this period, he NIA has already interrogated the late Dr. Saja Taal, and the late Momodou Sanyang. Pa Malick Faye was interviewed by the Interpol in Banjul regarding his knowledge into Chief Ebrima Manneh’s circumstances and the said articles he wanted to print on the newspaper.