Ex-prison boss investigated for human rights abuses

Ex-prison boss investigated for human rights abuses

Gambian authorities are investigating its former Prisons Director for human rights violations, says police spokesperson Foday Conta.

David Colley was fired from his job last week by President Adama Barrow after videos of inhumane conditions in the prison system emerged.

Colley is yet to be charged but if taken to court face a possible life sentence.

Prisoners reported that their jailers tortured them and disregard their rights. Prisoners say they are sometimes chained to the ground and not allowed to step outside for more than 23 hours – forced to ease themselves in their small cells.

Colley has denied that torture exists in the prison system but two UN Rapporteurs, who in 2014 gained access to the Mile II Prisons, concluded that “torture is a consistent practice” by authorities and “avoiding arrest is a necessary preoccupation” for ordinary Gambians.

A U.S. State Department report says the prison conditions are poor with overcrowded, damp, and poorly ventilated cells and inmates complained of poor sanitation and food.

The ventilation system is poor and many prisoners died of malnutrition and food poisoning.

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow is cracking down on human rights violators from the past regime. It was part of his campaign pledge to bring justice to victims and families of Jammeh’s regime.

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