Bounded & Mouth Gagged: German Authorities Accused of Mistreating Gambian Deportee

Doctors at the country's main hospital in Banjul helping remove the mental ring gagged around Saihou Kanteh's mouth.

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh 

Saihou Kanteh, a Gambian deportee from Basse Dampha Kunda in the Upper River Region (URR), alleges that he was maltreated by over six German police officers who bundled him to the ground and gagged his mouth with a metal ring before being deported via Turkish Airlines to Banjul.

He told TAT that he was deported into the country in the early hours of Wednesday, 13th March 2024, together with more than sixteen other Gambian migrants.

He called on The Gambia Government to look into the ways and manners German Police handled Gambian migrants during the cause of their deportation.

“Sometime last week, when I closed from work, I found a letter in my house dropped by the German Police. Immediately after reading this letter, I decided to report to the Police to ascertain why I was called to answer. When I arrived at the station, I was told that I would be deported to The Gambia. I enquired why I should be deported because I had been in Germany for more than six years. I had been working and paying taxes and never committed a crime,” Kanteh explained.

He added that his inquiries with the officers who insisted on deporting him to The Gambia did not go well. When he protested, more than seven police officers bounced on him and gagged his mouth for over 24 hours.

He continues to recount the harrowing experience of filing all his papers for asylum since 2023 when the German Government announced that all migrants who spend more than six years without causing any crime could apply for asylum.

“The metal ring they (German Police) gagged my mouth with was so tied that it wounded my tongue and was all along bleeding and oozing saliva from my mouth. When I arrived in Banjul, my brother tried to help me remove it, but we couldn’t; we went to Ndemban Clinic, which also tried to no avail before subsequently referring me to the EFSTH, where doctors took more than 10 minutes to remove it,” Saikou Kanteh, further disclosed to TAT.

The metal ring removes from Saikou’s mouth by Doctors in Banjul

He continued: ” My experience in the hands of the German Police has been brutal, inhumane, and a flagrant violation of my rights. No matter the situation, it was wrong for the German Police to handle me in this manner, especially gagging my mouth and denying me food and water for more than 18 hours.”

He asserted that his predicament in the hands of German Police is among multiple other similar experiences Gambian endures in the hands of German Police while under deportation.

He accused the German Police of not granting deportees the right to access their houses nor allowing them to withdraw their accounts that they could use to care for themselves once they arrived in the country.

He called on the Gambian Government to launch an investigation into the ways and manner the German Police conducted the deportation of Gambians, arguing that many Gambian’s rights are violated arbitrarily by German Police who go Scot free from crimes meted out to Gambian deportees.

Alhagie Kanteh, a brother to the victim, also expressed disappointment in the ways Alasana was deported back to The Gambia, noting that his brother has all along been in Germany without making any crime that should warrant the German Police inflicting such inhumane treatment on him.

“We (family) are very disappointed with the German Police for handling our brother in such an inhumane way, and we are calling on the Government to launch an investigation into how Gambians identified for deportation are handled by the Germans. We are calling on the Government because we don’t have the power and capital to sue the German Police; otherwise, we will do it for ourselves, and given this, we are appealing to our Government to launch an investigation immediately,” Alhagie Kanteh disclosed.

Leave a Reply