If you are an evil man and interested in the subject of torture and how to break another man down real quick and easy without much effort, you need not worry – you may go ahead and pin your hopes on The Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh’s National Intelligence Agency publishing a recipe book on the matter. This after all, is the group that uses phrases like “Let’s take him/her to school” when referring to taking someone for torture.
Human rights and governance under Jammeh has been the subject of intense discussion both at the local and international levels. The situation is so dire, the European Union was forced to withhold funds earmarked for development purposes, and the United States government was forced to kick Gambia out of the Africa growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) – an incentive based program created to help boost African economies.
So when former members of the torture squads come out with damning evidence of the extent of the abuse, they only confirm what many have lived and known about already. However, admittedly, many observers are shocked at how catastrophic the situation really is after hearing some of the details from these individuals. As one of them put it “this is a torture routine that will make even Satan cringe.”
According to the former administrators of this evil, the victims are first undressed, and then a black plastic bag is put over their heads. For men, their genitalia is usually the first target as torturers believe that is the best way to leave a lasting damage that will continue to haunt the victim even when he is released. Once they feel the manhood is destroyed to the point the person will not be able to perform in bed for a long time, then plastic bags are burned while the liquid drops on the victim’s heads for what they (NIA) see as inducing a confession. They even have a trick for how to get someone to confess real quickly: Electrocution – a cable wire is tied on the victim’s tongue, ears and private part while the machine is operated. This has been administered to many who have refused to incriminate themselves in a crime they didn’t even commit, and their court date is fast approaching.
To make the tortures as private and discrete as possible, several places have been identified by the NIA as the ideal spots: The NIA Headquarters itself and Bond Road, at an old house over there by the bridge. Where they choose to torture depends on the time of the day that the torture takes place – the NIA is ideal for night time because during the day, someone at the nearby Attorney General Chambers will be able to hear the screaming sound of the victim, while day time tortures take place at Bond Road which is totally isolated. According these agents, Jammeh loves to listen in while the tortures take place and he could usually be heard giggling in the background.
For the most unlucky victims – these are the ones Jammeh decides should be killed, there is a recipe for a slow death that works like magic. A battery is secured from Tati Perreh, a place at the Albert Market, next to the shop of one gentleman by the name Hydara. The substance in the battery is mixed with ‘soda,’ a local hair relaxer, and a little bit of acid. This is then mixed with Armanti Mayonnaise and put in the food of the victims. Both the late Baba Jobe and late Vincent Jatta were victims of this poison mix.
It must be noted that these routines outlined are the work of the NIA. The assassination group called the Jungulars, led by the notorious Sanna Manjang have their own methods, key among which are the dismemberment of the victims, and cutting their fleshes and stomachs open while they are wide awake.