Phaatemah Sandeng

(JollofNews) – The daughter of a Gambian opposition activist who was arrested and murdered by security officers for leading a peaceful anti-government protest in April has lavished praise on her father for his patriotism and standing up to his political beliefs.

PhaateMah Sandeng described her dad, Ebrima Solo Sandeng, as a hero and patriotic Gambian who sacrifice his life for the Gambia.

Mr Sandeng, national organising secretary of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), was arrested on 14th April 2016 by security officers after he led an ‘unauthorised’ street protest  at the busy Westfield junction some 12 kilometres away from the capital, Banjul, and displayed a banner with the slogan:  “We Need Proper Electoral Reform”.

After his arrest, he was moved to the feared National Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Banjul where he was tortured and killed within a few hours.

The Gambia government has admitted his death in custody and medical records said he died as a result of breathlessness. His body  is yet to be released to his family for burial and in a media interview in May, President Jammeh rejected calls for an investigation into Mr Sandeng’s death, as it was “common” for people to die in detention or while under interrogation.

Solo Sandeng was killed in detention

Paying tribute to her dad, who would have turned 58 on January 1st, Ms Sandeng wrote:  “He was a man of honor, love and principle and was visible wherever he was needed. His focus was identifiable and his love for volunteerism was admirable.”

She added: “You were a man of truth and for it you fear not to face brute. I admire you dad because your heart was just a blessed fruit. Your love was divided between the Quran, your family (us) and country. Your struggle was real for it was to see a system in which justice was a guaranty. For this Jammeh and his thugs tortured you to death brutally. Even though you knew the price you would pay, you sacrificed your life to free (Gambia) and what we owe you now is to guard this selfishly.

“You were 57 precisely, it’s the 1st of January today dad and you would have been 58 exactly. Even though we would have wanted you with us today and writing this my tears are rolling for a course you believe. A legend and hero you are and have been. Continue to rest in peace Ya Abee”