“President Jammeh likes seeing people suffer. He likes to see people suffer, and begging him, or pleading with him, he deducted as a sign of weakness, and he hardly believe anybody, trusted anybody. The only way he thinks you can get the person to talk is, you have to extract the truth from the person, extraction was in place of obtaining, he was a sadist,” those were the words of Harry Sambou, the former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency. Sambou was giving evidence before the TRRC on Monday.
Sambou, who had served in the defunct National Security Services, and the NIA, said the NIA under Jammeh’s rule had a policy that legitimizes torture. He said Jammeh was at the epicenter of the tortures that used to happen at the agency.
Jammeh, he added, would personally give order for detainees to be tortured. He said Jammeh doesn’t believe in availing detainees to be questioned without being tortured.
“Like I said, the boss could not accept persuasion. He thought there should be show of power, so that he was the one up there, the person has to be forced to cooperate,” he said.
He said the NIA was the most feared security agency under Jammeh’s rule. Workers at the agency, he said, had no choice but to adapt to the torture policy.
“That culture of torture metamorphosed and made these agents harden. Culture was a policy at the NIA,” he said.
“Yahya Jammeh will give personal orders and he would follow up on each case. He would order for the beatings and the tortures,” he added.
Sambou said Jammeh would threaten to jail Intel officers, who do not subject detainees to torture. He said Jammeh would often accused officers briefing him on certain cases of either siding with detainees or not doing their jobs if forced confessions are not extracted from detainees.