Senegal: Torture: the Casamance case

April 30, 1990

Senegal: Torture: the Casamance case

- Mamadou Badji, known as Niambaly, a joiner from Mampalago,
department of Bignona. Amnesty International has learned that he
apparently died at the gendarmerie brigade premises in
Ziguinchor, probably in late 1982 or early 1983;
- Timothée Badji of Bougouillon is reported to have died at the
Ziguinchor brigade premises following burns, probably in late
1982 or early 1983;
- Abdou Sagna, of the village of Diatok in the department of
Bignona, is reported to have been arrested after the first
demonstration organized by the separatists on 26 December 1982,
to have been tortured at Bignona police station and to have died
while he was being taken to hospital;
- Ousmane Diatta of the village of Ebinkine, department of Bignona,
was aged 67 at the time of his arrest in October 1986. It is
reported that he was tortured by seven gendarmes from the Bignona
brigade and died in 1987.

Amnesty International has also received information from a variety of separate sources on the death of several other prisoners from Casamance between 1984 and 1987. Some of these deaths occurred in Le Dantec hospital in Dakar, while the prisoners were being transferred under the responsibility of the courts. In these cases, the death certificates,

serving as authorisation for burial, were drawn up at the examining magistrate's request. Amnesty International has learned that, despite an express demand by a lawyer, no autopsy was carried out in any of the cases.

The death certificates should be examined more closely:

1. Bakari Sané. Born in Ziguinchor in 1957, a farmer living in
Fanda. Arrested on 26 December 1983 by the Ziguinchor gendarmerie
brigade, collapsed on 9 January 1984. He was admitted to hospital
on 9 May 1984 and died on 8 June 1984. The body was buried on 13
August 1984 by a delegation of prisoners. The certificate bears
the date of 17 August 1984 and mentions as the cause of death a
premature cancer of the liver. This seems impossible to verify;
no autopsy was carried out. It is of interest that the
certificate was drawn up more than two months after the official
date of death and four days after burial. Information compiled on
this case would point to the death occurring as a result of ill- treatment. The prisoner's family was left in absolute ignorance
of his fate.
2. Lamine Mané, known as Pécos. Born in 1946 in Kagnobon,
department of Bignona, he was returned to custody on 13 February
1985 after being arrested two weeks earlier. The date of his
admission to hospital has not been specified; the date of death
was 22 February 1985. The certificate was drawn up on 26 February
1985. The official causes of death were as follows: "General
visceral congestion; body in state of advanced decomposition,
rendering any interpretation of external injuries impossible;
absence of detectable internal haemorrhage". Eye witnesses stated
that he arrived at Le Dantec hospital spitting blood and that his
body bore traces of many deep injuries. No autopsy was carried
out, despite repeated requests by the defence lawyer.* It appears
likely that this person died as a result of torture inflicted
upon him both at the time of his arrest by the Ziguinchor
gendarmerie and at Dakar, at the gendarmerie; the probable date
of transfer to hospital seems to have been a few days before his
3. Moussa Sagna. Aged 70 at the time of death, originally from
Kagnabon in the district of Sindian, the father of 10 children.
He was arrested on 18 January 1984; he died in the "special
pavilion" in Le Dantec hospital on 24 September 1984. The body
was handed over to his family. The certificate states only the
date on which it was drawn up, the official cause of death being
as follows: "Bronchial pneumonia plus general deterioration in
health". It seems that ill-treatment had been inflicted on this
elderly man, who had never had a conviction.