Thursday, December 2, 2021



The director of the former National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and now with a name change, the   State Intelligence Services (SIS) Sowe told a group of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee members on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters , that since 2017 the SIS seize to have a detention center nor does his office have detainees.

Director Sowe, told the members who were on an oversight function that since he took over the leadership of the NIA now SIS, he and his team started with key internal reforms. At the time the former NIA were arresting officers and have cells, where they keep their captives.

After his tour of the office complexes, he discovered a cell where tables and shackles were fixed to the walls and mainly used for interrogations of people under the NIA custody.  SIS boss went to inform members that this room was painted in more or less red colors. Sowe said he was shocked and his immediate reaction was “removed all these and repaint the cell”.

When asked why?  he replied that his was an emotional reaction but was not meant to cover up anything.  However Sowe who was flanged with his senior men, took the visiting parliamentarians around three other cells, which were left as there were during the previous regime.

The members, who were primarily out and about, were mainly   to see and assess the conditions of the detention centers at the prisons and police stations in the greeter Banjul area, and also to see the inmates for themselves. In the process, members spoke to some inmates both at the remand wings and main yards in the two prisons (Mile 2 and Jeshwang) visited.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Human and Constitutional Matters Committee will continue and conclude the first phase of their visits to detention centers in the West Coast, today Friday.

Earlier in the week, this committee, which is chaired by the Speaker of the National Assembly, visited two prisons, and several other police stations, beginning with the Police Headquarters, the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) at Kanifing, and the Headquarters of   the Drug Reinforcement Agency.

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