A former prison paramedic officer has told the Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of the former dictator Yahya Jammeh that some of the military officers subjected to mock execution were mentally destabilized due to trauma.
Babucarr Jatta, the current commissioner at the Janjanbureh prison, was the one who attended to early detainees of the July 22, 1994 coup leaders.
The eighth Commission witness, Jatta said the detainees in the immediate aftermath of the coup were denied access to hospital. Thus, their only medical help was coming from them.
In September of 1994, couple of soldiers who were detained at Mile 2 including Ebrima Chongan, Mamat Cham and RSM Jeng, were subjected to torture and mock execution.
The soldiers were taken out, beaten and then a volley of gun fire was heard. Then the soldiers who allegedly tortured them came back to the other prisoners and told them, there to be executed next.
Jatta said this has caused serious trauma in some of these soldiers, but particularly worse was Captain Samsideen Sarr and one Kebba Ceesay.
He said these two have demonstrated symptoms of mental instability.
“The inmates were made to believe that Chongan, Cham and Jeng were killed… That has caused a lot of damage on them. Samsideen Sarr and Kebba Ceesay’s (trauma) were very visible… Others too were traumatized. But for Pa Sallah Jagne and Captain Kambi, they were not shaking,” said Jatta.
Jatta has attended to several other people including Alieu Bah, a survivor of November 11, who was later involved in Kartong attack.
He said Bah was vomiting blood at the time he was being hospitalized. Jatta said Bah later told him of November 11 and how they escaped death while others like Basiru Barrow were executed.
He said in the immediate aftermath of the coup, the prisoners were tortured at night and most of the times when he comes to work, prisoners in the main yard will tell him about the wailing of tortured victims and gun fires they have heard.