By Kebba Jeffang
Mr. Ebrima Solo Sandeng, the newly elected National Organising Secretary of the United Democratic Party (UDP), was arrested together with about two dozens young people, while protesting on Thursday, 14th April, 2016 at Westfield.
Since then family members and loved ones have not heard from the security forces that arrested him regarding his whereabouts or fate while in detention. News however reached the family that he is no longer alive.
When this reporter visited the residence of Mr. Sandeng in Dippakunda on Saturday morning he found the place full with grieving relatives who were seen crying and screaming as well as neighbours and other sympathisers who gathered there.
Fatoumata Sandeng, Mr. Sandeng’s daughter, said they heard about the death of her father on the internet on Friday night but did not believe it because of the unreliability of information on social media (Facebook) sometimes and that she tried to convince the family, including her mother, not to take it seriously.
“However, we kept on with our enquiries but that with every source we contacted it is confirmed that he is dead. All that we (the family) are saying now it is for the state to bring back our dad if he is not dead or to give us the corpse if he is dead,” appealed the daughter.
She said her mother went to the authorities before but was told that she could not see him.
Ms. Sandeng asked whether it is a crime for someone to engage in a peaceful demonstration. She said they will continue to demand for their father whether alive or dead.
“We want them to bring back our father and if he is not alive let them explain the circumstances leading to his death as he was healthy before his arrest,” said Ms. Sandeng.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the UDP party leader, in a press briefing at his residence on the same day, said he got reliable information that Solo Sandeng was killed as a result of the torture he received while being held by the security forces.
Foroyaa will continue to conduct its investigation to ascertain the state of physical well being of all detainees as well as to remind the state that if they are not released they should be taken before a court of law as the 72 hours limit has already expired.