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German Police Accused of Brutal Mistreatment: Gambian Migrant Gagged and Deported

Africans in Germany. Saihou Kanteh, a Gambian migrant accuses German police officers for mistreating him, bundling him to the ground and gagging his mouth with a metal ring before deporting him via Turkish Airlines to Banjul.

Kanteh, who resided in Heilbronn City in Baden-Württemberg State of Germany, informed AfroNews.Germany that authorities deported him out of the country in the early hours of Wednesday, March 13th, 2024, along with more than sixteen other Gambian migrants.
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“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.

“The metal ring they (German Police) gagged my mouth with was so tight 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 Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul, where doctors took more than 10 minutes to remove it,” Saikou Kanteh, he revealed.

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 Gambians endure many similar experiences at the hands of German authorities, citing his situation with the German Police as just one example. He accused the German Police of denying deportees access to their homes and preventing them from withdrawing funds from their accounts, which they could use to support themselves upon arrival in the country.
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Kanteh urged the Gambian Government to initiate an investigation into the methods used by the German Police during the deportation of Gambians. He argued that many Gambians have their rights violated by German Police without consequences, and called for accountability for the injustices inflicted on Gambian deportees.

Yahya Sonko, Germany based Gambian Human and migration rights activist, decried that he is so concerned by the alleged inhuman treatment meted on a Gambian citizen during the deportation process, adding that he called for an immediate investigation to this disturbing allegation. He describes the situation as so unfortunate; stressing that brutality should not be an option for Germany police to deport someone.

According to firsthand information from the victim, Saikou, the German police subjected him to physical violence, including kicking and beating, throughout the deportation process. Furthermore, he alleges that they forcefully inserted a foreign object into his mouth, leading to speech impairment that persisted upon his arrival in The Gambia.

“Such actions, if proven true, are not only reprehensible but also constitute a clear violation of fundamental human rights and international laws. No individual should be subjected to such brutality, regardless of their immigration status,” Sonko, former spokesperson of Baden-Württemberg State Refugees Council, lamented.

He called on the government of The Gambia, Gambia Human Right Commission and all relevant NGOs operating in The Gambia to launch an immediate and thorough investigation into this matter.
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“It is imperative that those responsible for these egregious acts be held accountable for their actions, I call upon the international community to stand in solidarity with the victims and demand for justice for this blatant violation of human dignity, we cannot allow such atrocities to go unanswered, and it is incumbent upon us all to ensure that rights of migrants are respected and protected,” he further stressed.

“Together, let us send a strong and unequivocal message that acts of brutality and abuse will not be tolerated, and that those responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”