We stand by our recent story that Army Lance Corporal Sambujang Bojang, was stripped off naked, and subjected to humiliating interrogation by some personnel of the State Intelligence Services (SIS). Neither the SIS, nor the Army Command have so far disputed our story, despite efforts from this end to seek reaction from the SIS leadership.  Lazy “journalist(s)” bent on acting as “smokescreen” for the government by plagiarizing our piece; to spin it to look like as if Mr. Bojang was not manhandled while under SIS custody, should get their ass to work and stop being lazy. Damn it! 

Mr. Bojang told us on the record that he was not physically beaten, but notwithstanding he was humiliated by his captives through the form of enhanced interrogation; by stripping him off naked; and setting his legs on fire. He was also handcuffed to a point that he said his blood circulation was blocked. A hacksaw was even used to remove the handcuff from his hands. The officers, who processed him claimed that they had lost the key of the handcuff. Bojang said he sustained injury during the process of removing the handcuff from his hands.

In all fairness, no amount of spinning or doctoring of Mr. Bojang’s story will discredit our piece. We were very honest in our reporting. We ensured that Bojang’s statements were properly attributed to him. But these lazy “journalist(s) are in collusion with the regime. They are bent on depicting a different story; just to sell an agenda. If you are paid to tell lies, let it be known. Do not twist the truth! 

“I was not tortured. I was not beaten. I was mistreated by one of the officers. He set fire on my legs. The hacksaw too wounded me while they were trying to remove the handcuff from my hands,” Bojang told the Freedom Newspaper. 

Now what is the fuse all about? Why capitalizing on Bojang’s own admission that he was not tortured to spin it to downplay the magnitude of his allegations against the SIS. Another dishonest case of journalistic reporting.

Some lazy ass “journalists” are claiming that Mr. Bojang is denying being tortured. This paper has never reported that Bojang was tortured. We merely asked in our headline news if torture of detainees had resumed in the Gambia. Is that a crime?

Given the account made by Mr. Bojang, about his SIS encounter, the treatment meted out to him amounts to torture under international laws, and conventions. Undressing a detainee amounts to a degrading treatment and mental torture. Let the lazy journalists get that!

The Lazy “journalists” should speak to the SIS to get their own side of the story before distorting our story. They never quoted Mr. Bojang as having spoken to them. They also never contacted the SIS, which is at the center of Mr. Bojang’s allegations. Their primary source is the Freedom Newspaper. Be honest enough to give credit to your sources of information.

If you can dishonestly reference the Freedom story, without proper attribution, why can’t you contact the SIS or the army command for their own side of the story. Nothing is stopping you from visiting Mr. Bojang at his hospital bed at the Fajara barracks and interview him.  

“ On Monday, I was taken to the NIA headquarters in Banjul by Lt. Yusupha Jallow. I was confronted by ten men upon arrival there. They stripped me off naked; like the day I was born by my mom. Both my legs and hands were handcuffed. I was made to sit on a chair, while my legs were stretched to the other end. My blood circulation was blocked due to the handcuff that was tied on my legs and hands.  Blood couldn’t circulate through my veins. The NIA agents now called SIS agents said I must tell them how Yerro Jatta escaped. I told them that I do not know anything about Yerro’s escape. That I only serve them food while he was detained at the Fajara barracks,” said Mr. Bojang in the Mandinka dialect,” Bojang said.

“I was asked why I was brought to the army clinic, and told them exactly what I told you. I am here receiving treatment. I feel that my story should be reported to the world so that people can know what is happening in this country. I haven’t done anything to warrant such mistreatment. I was threatened during the interrogations; that if I don’t talk I will see fire. My wife and Yerro came from the same village. They thought I aided Yerro to escape. I do not know anything about Yerro’s escape,” he posited.

In this new Gambia, we expect journalists worthy of their salt to be honest and be ready to spend time and resources to investigate stories. Masquerading under the disguise of  seeking the truth, when in reality, the lazy “journalists” are in cohort with those perpetrating oppression amounts to journalistic dishonesty. Dictatorship is over in the Gambia. Do your job so called lazy “journalists.” 

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