Prisoners at the mile two remand wing prison on Monday, embarked on a violent rioting, which resulted to some prison wardens being kidnapped by the protesting prisoners. The prisoners overcame the prison wardens during the scuffle, which last for over twelve hours. The prison wardens were subdued and confined to a location within the overcrowded prison population cell. Prisoners then confiscated cell keys from the kidnapped prison wardens amid mounting tension at mile two. The protesting prisoners have accused The Gambian government of favoring the accused Faraba Banta PIU officers charged with murder. None of the accused officers have been remanded in prison. They have been accorded light detention status at the PIU Base in Kanifing.
The protest started as early as 6: 00 AM, and it was thwarted at around 7:00 PM. Armed police intervention unit officers were deployed to the prison to help restore calm. Among the security chiefs present was President Barrow’s National Security adviser.
A top Gambian law enforcement officer familiar with the matter said the prisoners attack against the prison wardens came as result of the state apparent refusal to detain the accused Faraba Bantan police intervention unit (PIU) officers to the mile two prison. The PIU officers have been charged with murder. They are currently detained at the PIU base in Kanifing.
The prisoners felt that there is selective justice in the country. They cannot understand why should accused PIU officers be detained at the PIU base and not mile two prison, even though a court in Banjul has ordered for their remanding in prison.
The prisoners have also complained about poor sanitary conditions at the prison characterized by lack of good food. The prisoners were armed with traditional weapon. They refused to turn in the keys that they seized from the prison wardens to the PIU deployed to prison to restore calm.
The PIU officers were extremely careful in the way they handled the protest. One officer told this medium that since their colleagues were exposed to criminal liability in the Faraba Banta incident, they deemed it prudent not to use excessive force to confront the protesting prisoners.
Gambian prison authorities could not be reached for comment.