By Ousman A. Marong
Lamin Jobe, former Information Minister of the defunct Gambia Students’ Union (GAMSU) at The Gambia College has today told the TRRC that the late Ebrima Barry was mercilessly beaten by officers of Gambia Fire Service.
According to him, upon arrival at the Brikama fire station they (the student Union) found the late Ebrima Barry crying with a bleeding head demanding for help.
He said Ebrima told them that he was mercilessly beaten by the fire fighters and they asked him (Ebrima Barry) to squad down and water was poured on his head.
“I was the Information Minister of the student Union at The Gambia College. The function of the union was to facilitate unity amongst the student and we were organized in a way like a functional government,” he remarked.
He made this disclosure at Dunes Hotel in Kololi where he was testifying before the Commission.
He disclosed that Ebrima was later pronounced death due to blood oozing from his head.
He further revealed that on the August 27, 2000 they gathered at Gambia College premises planning a peaceful demonstration.
He said the then principal of the college in the person of Mr. Jenung Manneh pleaded with them not to carry on with their planned demonstration.
“We convinced him that the demonstration would be peaceful,” the witness stated.
“We started the demonstration with a match pass carrying placards chanting , ‘We want justice for Ebrima Barry and Binta Manneh,” he said.
He revealed that they marched to the Commissioner’s Office in Brikama where they were denied entry by the security officers.
The April 2000 Gambia student massacre was the killing of 14th unarmed students demanding for justice following the beating to death of one Ebrima Barry, a student by the Gambia fire fighters, and the allege rape of a 13-year-old girl Binta Manneh.
Lamin Jobe further told the Commission that stones were thrown at them upon arrival at the Brikama fire station, wehre some of them started running for their lives.
“13 Badjie handed over the postmortem report to me concerning the demise of the late Ebrima Barry,” he said.
13 Badjie, real name Landing Badjie was a senior police officer at Gambia Police Force during the April 2000 student demonstration.
He stated that the postmortem report was later published on Foroyaa newspaper.
“We were referred to as opposition children by officials of the former regime. The then government of former president Jammeh effect arrest on all of us,” he recounted.
Dilating on the impact of the student demonstration on him, he said it was a learning point for him.
By Ousman A. Marong