By Alagie Manneh: Prison officers involved in alleged extra-judicial tortures and killings will be brought to book to face the full force of the law, the Director of Prisons Ansumana Bojang said. He was speaking to journalists at the notorious Mile 2 prison in Banjul on Thursday evening, following another presidential pardon for 98 more prisoners of murder, drug-trafficking et cetera.
Mile 2 is one of the worst prisons in the world, as accusations of torture and killing of prisoners was the order of the day during the ousted dictator’s reign. Now that he is gone, the new director says all those men who took part in such brutal acts, will face justice, and without delay if charges are pressed.
“The Interior minister made it clear that anybody whose name has been mentioned in torturing prisoners will answer for it, so we sit and see, anybody whose name is mentioned, the law will take its course, Mr Manneh said. “It is left to the prisoners, however, to make claims.” According to him, his men lack international trainings that restrict torture in the prisons. “So it’s my priority to provide legal experts to train them.” The prisons boss could however, not hide his displeasure over what he called ‘deteriorating prison conditions’, adding that the number of released prisoners are “little. “Really I was shocked to see the present condition; it is not favorable for human habitat.” “They gave us food so bad and too small, even my little son belly, it cannot fill it,” one prisoner, who spent 54-years in Mile 2 revealed.
Meanwhile, the new prison boss appealed for all hands to be on deck as he aims to deliver a prison that meets international standards. “Managing prisons is a very daunting challenge,” he reiterated. “It is not only the government that should manage prisons, but partners as well. That is why I am very pleased to see the media here, this will pave way for greater support.