Lamin Cham gives details of torture by ex-president Jammeh’s notorious NIA


Lamin Cham, editor-in-chief of The Standard newspaper


Former editor of the Daily Observer and the current editor-in-chief of The Standard newspaper, Lamin Cham has given details of how he was tortured by the former President Yahya Jammeh’s notorious National Intelligent Agency (NIA).

Arrested in May 2006 and detained at the Serrekunda police station, Lamin Cham said he was later taken to police headquarters in Banjul where he spent the night before subsequently taken to the NIA to be tortured.

He said he was arrested by one Botto Keita of the Criminal Investigative Unit, when he was the BBC correspondent for Africa Service.

He explained that it was a mass arrest of over 100 people including government officials that were on the Freedom newspaper editor’s email list.

He said, the said email was said to be hacked by then government intelligent officials where most of the people whose names appear in the list were arrested and detained for questioning.

From the police headquarters he was taken to the NIA and detained until 2:00 a.m. in the morning when he was taken behind the main NIA building by one of the officers.

“Suddenly I saw Tumbul Tamba and Musa Jammeh who was called ‘Maliamungu’ from the State Guard.

“Before I start to ask anything, blows and whips started falling on me. I couldn’t understand (this)but I saw eight other people who are obviously drunk joined the torturing,” he recalled.

He said Tumbul Tamba and Musa Jammeh were leading the tortured team with rubber chains, fists and boots.

Cham also told the commission during the tortured his hands were strapped behind for him not to resist, so he was beaten, kicked and stamped which was accompanied by questioning.

He said they began to ask him questions like, “How much did BBC pay you? Why did you lie? Why can’t you make report without mentioning Jammeh?”

“I have no answers because I don’t know what they were talking about,” he said.

He said he was beaten until when Tumbul would ask his men to stop and that they would continue the torture when he (Tumbul) ordered them to do so.

He testified that the torture that lasted 25 to 30 minutes left parts of his body injured; his feet, ankle and back were wounded, skin peeled and eyes stick with blood.

He told the commission that after the tortured he was taken to a room where he met his journalist colleagues, Lamin Fatty and Malick Mboob with similar ordeal.

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