The Gambia’s dismissed longest serving director of prisons has also tasted the bitterness of arrest. David Colley’s Monday arrest and detention followed his firing.
He is replaced by Ansumana Manneh, director of Old Jeshwang prison.
Also in police custody is one of the assassins of ousted President Yahya Jammeh. Malick Jatta is a member of Jammeh’s Jungulars, a special unit responsible for committing so many atrocities, including murders of innocent Gambians and non-Gambians. Jatta was reportedly arrested while “chilling out” with his associates at Tanji village.
Gambians have long been waiting for the arrest of the two men who are both connected to murders, disappearances and tortures of prisoners or detainees. David Colley oversaw tortures and mistreatment for two decades while Malick Jatta was directly involved in such acts. The two owe Gambians a lot of explanation.
David Colley denied existence of torture in Mile 2 even though inmates walked out of prisons with physical and psychological marks of tortures.
Mr. Colley, a native of Jammeh’s Kanilai hamlet, had been the head of Gambia Prison Service since 1997, although he was fired, redeployed and reinstated twice. His dismissal and arrest resulted after the Ministers of Interior and Justice made impromptu visit at Mile II Central Prison. The visit exposed horrible conditions of prisoners who were held in dark cell. The expose drew a wave of condemnations.
President Adama Barrow, who had earlier freed high-profile political prisoners, pardoned over 170 prisoners a fortnight after the prison visit.