By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
This article was first published on the afternoon of Saturday 25th July 2020. It details an encounter with Commissioner Gorgi Mboob of the Anti Cime Unit where he responded to allegations that he forced detainees to do hard labour and personally tortured one Ebrima Sanneh.
This article continues from the first article where a detainee and eye witness alleged that Gorgi Mboob hit Ebrima Sanneh in the genitals with a hoe and also fired bullets during a training session while detainees were out doing farming work in the Anti Crime Unit camp. The following day the National Human Rights Commission published a Press Release condemning Police brutality.
Earlier last night (around midnight 24th July 2020) I received reports about alleged human rights violations on one Ebrima Sanneh from Brikama. I was warned that ACU officers had pursued Ebrima Sanneh to the hospital to return him to the cell last night of 24th July 2020. Doctors refused to discharge him because of his medical condition, however, this late morning of 25th July 2020 before midday Ebrima’s brother, Lamin Sanneh informed me that ACU Officers had re-arrested his brother from the hospital and taken him to the ACU in Bijilo.
This prompted me to visit Gorgi Mboob and enquire about the safety and whereabouts of Ebrima. After arriving at the ACU I was informed that Ebrima’s father had facilitated his release before I arrived at 14:00 hours. Today 25th July 2020 I visited the ACU in Bijilo where I meet Gorgi Mboob. I went with one witness Nacee Marenah but I was not allowed to see Commissioner Mboob with her. I had to meet Gorgi Mboob on my own.
Commissioner of Anti Crime Unit, Gorgi Mboob
When I meet Gorgi Mboob he was sat with three other officers and I recognised one of them named Jobe whom I greeted by name together with “Go” Gorgi Mboob. I also greeted the rest of the officers around. I explained to Commissioner Mboob that there are allegations of torture against ACU officers and specifically on him. That the allegations were serious and I came to give him the opportunity to respond to those allegations.
He explained that he has had a number of media requests which he declined but he would see me because silence appears as though he has accepted the allegations on him. I asked him if he used a hoe to hit Ebrima Sanneh in his genitals? This he denied explaining that the young man was farming and then he fell. He explained that he believes the young man must have met up with a prostitute the previous night and was suffering from Gonorrhoea (a sexually transmitted disease).
At this point, Gorgi Mboob had ordered one of his officers to bring the original hospital report so I could see. He reiterated that I will not be allowed to take a copy or a photo but I could see the report. We then started perusing through the two-page medical report dated 25th July 2020. In summary, the first page showed that Ebrima’s abdomen and pelvis were ok, however, it highlights that his scrotum had experienced trauma. The scrotum is the region where the testicles are located. The second page also highlights that Ebrima’s testicles were swollen.
At Home after release
At the start of reading through the document, Gorgi Mboob was adamant that nothing had happened to Ebrima and the medical records show that he was ok. When I highlighted the trauma written in the report he replied to say trauma can happen even if you’re sitting here doing nothing. I continued through the entire document and kept asking more questions.
I then asked Gorgi Mboob if he had ordered the detainees to do hard labour work in the farm. He did not deny that he had done so. I asked him if he had fired bullets with his Officers while the detainees were doing hard labour on the farm. To this, he said that “what does our training have to do with the ngoss ngoss (weeding the farm)?” I explained that the detainees are civilians and that they don’t know about guns, they were scared. To this, he explained that they were not using live ammunition but blanks for training.
I put it to him that other detainees who witnessed the scene alleged that he, Gorgi Mboob used a hoe to hit Ebrima in his genitals. Gorgi Mboob denied that he attacked him and that “when you fight crime, crime will also fight you back”.
Asked him if his Officers had pursued Ebrima at the hospital to re-arrest him he did not deny it and explained that he had asked his officers to follow up with the matter.
I had no recording device with me and had to transcribe my conversation with him from memory soon after meeting him at the ACU in Bijilo. We meet at the entrance of the ACU Offices, accessing the building through the right side.
NHRC “Police Brutality” Press Release