Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sheriff Diba, Transport Union Leader, died in police custody after being tortured

On March 22nd 2016, we posted the blog post below about the death in custody of Sheriff Diba, a transport union leader.  According to the International Transport Workers' Federation and as reported by Reuters, Mr. Diba's crime was his union "lobbied Jammeh for the reduction of retail fuel prices".

The Gambian Union leader was one of the many victims of Jammeh's total dominance of the energy sector, from upstream to downstream operations.  The former Information Minister who seemed to have had access to the autopsy report owes it to Mr. Diba's family and the Gambian people at large to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities in their investigations of the circumstance leading to his death. The Commissioner of Prisons will also have to be call to book.

Sidi Sanneh

Murdered Union Leader, Sheriff Diba 
Contrary to official version of events, the Union Leader, Sheriff Dibba, collapsed and died while in police custody at the Banjul Police Station and not at the hospital.

The Fatou Network website has confirmed that Diba did not die in the hospital of "uncomplicated malaria", as claimed by Jammeh's Information Minister.

According to Minister Bojang, Mr. Diba's illness "took a turn for the worse" and died the next day.  A postmortem carried out on February 23 found Diba had heart disease, diabetes, lung and liver problems, he added.

The Minister's story has been ruled by many as mere fabrication, including the London-based International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) that described Bojang's denial as engaging in "sophistry" instead of seriously engaging Gambians and the international community as regards the murder of Sheriff Diba.

Information Minister Bojang 
The ITF continues to maintain that Mr. Diba had been tortured while in custody and is demanding that a commission of inquiry be set up to investigate the circumstances leading up to the death of the union leader.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has also joined the ITF and other international organizations in demanding an independent investigations of the death of Sheriff Diba.

In view of the new revelations, Diba was tortured and died while still in the custody of the police at the Banjul Police HQ, contrary to earlier reports, including this blog, that Diba death occured at Mile II prisons before the body was transferred to the hospital.