Gambia’s police have arrested 10 intelligence agents who have reportedly been implicated in an opposition activist’s death, authorities in the West African state confirmed.
The arrests of the National Intelligence Agency officials are in connection with the death in April 2016 of opposition activist Solo Sandeng, who reportedly died of torture a day after he was arrested for holding a peaceful demonstration demanding electoral reforms.
The intelligence agents were reported to have killed Sandeng on the orders of former ruler Yahya Jammeh. There are already nine former intelligence officers standing trial for Sandeng’s killing.
A judge in the capital Banjul has remanded the 10 agents: Ngora Njie, Bakary Jammeh aka Afo, Lyon Gomez, Lamin Bojang aka Kambajal, Manlafi Jarju, Tijan Camara, Kwesi Mendy, Lamin Bojang, Ansumana Manga and Yankuba Colley.
A special prosecutor, Antouman Gaye has been appointed by Gambia’s President Adama Barrow to prosecute those responsible for Sandeng’s killing. Barrow has also set up a truth commission to investigate rights abuses under Jammeh.
Last week, Gambia’s police also charged the former director general of the State Central Prison under Jammeh with the murder of one of the autocratic ruler’s closest allies.
David Colley was accused of conspiring in the 2012 killing of Baba Jobe. He was sacked by Barrow, who defeated Jammeh in the country’s 2016 elections over allegations of human rights abuses in prisons under Jammeh’s regime.
Colley was detained in March last year for a few days and released on bail. While he was not charged for rights violations, he was charged with abuse of office but never appeared before a judge.
(Reporting and Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Sourcing from The Torch; Additional Writing and Editing by Sam Phatey)