Gambia: NIA tried to hide evidence in opposition activist’s killing

Gambia: NIA tried to hide evidence in opposition activist’s killing

An opposition activist, whose death sparked a string of protests in the Gambia was buried with the bedsheets and mattress he was lying on after he was tortured by security forces, a secret service agent told a court in the capital, Banjul.

Dawda Ndure, an agent of the disbanded National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and now State Intelligence Agency is a state witness against nine NIA officials charged with the murder of Ebrima Solo Sandeng.

NIA Operations Director Sheikh Omar Jeng, Special Agent Baboucarr Sallah and Special Agent Tamba Mansary led a handful of junior agents to bury the activist at a security training school in Tanji, in western Gambia.

Prosecutors say the agents were trying to conceal his death and evidence, but Sandeng was arrested in public and videos of his arrest went viral online.

Many government critics, many from Sandeng’s UDP party have been allegedly arrested, discreetly by authorities, and after being killed, the government denies having them in custody.

Former President Yahya Jammeh refused to investigate Sandeng’s death, accusing him of being sponsored by foreign nations seeking to end his rule “by using a protest to destabilize the country.”

Dozens of citizens, including two U.S. citizens, remain missing. Authorities have arrested nearly two dozen former security officers implicated in tortures and killings for Jammeh.

Jammeh’s used the NIA to commit some of the worst forms of humann rights abuses targeting journalists, political opponents, and LGBT people, many of whom fled Gambia out of fear.

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