LCD activist  demands M4 million

LCD activist demands M4 million

MASERU – A Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) activist is demanding M4 million in damages from Police Commissioner for alleged torture, unlawful arrest and kidnapping.
Paseka Chele, popularly known as Mopapa, claims that on July 13 policemen in plain clothes “kidnapped” him at gunpoint near Mmelesi Off-Sales at Borokhoaneng in Maseru.
He says he had received information from an acquaintance that the police were looking for him and he told him to tell the police that he would wait for them near the off-sale.
At around 1600 hours five policemen arrived and picked him up.

“Three were carrying AK47s, one was carrying a “Gallil” and the other was a driver,” Chele tells Commissioner Holomo Molibeli in the demand letter dated September 10, 2018.
“I was not handcuffed at this stage, and I did not resist going with them.”
He mentions four policemen whose names he could still remember. Chele says he was taken to the police station near Setsoto Stadium where he was made to sit on a 20 litre drum as he was being interrogated by 10 officers.

They asked him to produce a Gallil rifle they alleged he had. He says he “persistently and consistently told them that I do not own a gun”.
Chele claims the police officer then brought a man they alleged had given him the gun.
He says he told the police that he had only met that man once when he tried to hire his vehicle.

Chele says he was then handcuffed and “forced to lie down and bound (sekolokoto for lack of a better word) with a plastic rope”.
He says a policeman mounted on him like a donkey while suffocating him with a car tube.
“When I became near unconscious they doused me with cold water and repeated the same torture again while asking me where the Gallil was.”

“I estimate that I was tortured thus for about 30 minutes and I persistently and consistently told them that I knew nothing about the Gallil.”
“Two policemen took turns riding me until I wet myself and they told me that until faeces come out I have not yet told the truth.”
He said another police officer instructed them to unfasten him and ordered him to stand up.
“Because of the injuries and the fatigue I could not stand up” and they pulled him up and dragged him to another office
He was still in handcuffs.

Chele claims the police instructed him to fill in the detention form “which I refused because I was injured”.
“But I was forced to do it until I filled it. I was then detained in the wet clothes and the urine. I was detained for four days without further interrogation.”
He was released on July 16 but ordered to return two days later.
When he returned he was forced to fill a different detention form.

“Fearing the same treatment/torture/abuse/humiliation, I filled the form,” he says, adding: “I was made to fill this form by a different person.”
Chele says he told the police officers that he was on medication but they would not allow him to collect it.
“I don’t know how to sincerely portray the way I feel about this blatant disregard of basic human rights unconstitutional treatment of citizens, unprofessional conduct of the police and the way I feel about the people who are supposed to protect and to serve.”

Apart from the M4 million he is demanding in compensation, Chele wants the 10 policemen to face disciplinary action.
Superintendent Mopeli said he was unaware of the letter from Chele.

Staff Reporter

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