Jammeh victims cry for justice

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Families and friends of victims of Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh have been mounting pressure on authorities, demanding for justice to be served on perpetrators of illegal killing and torture of their family members.

Mr. Jammeh’s 22-year rule of The Gambia has been marred with excessive human rights violation, including torture, killing and disappearance without trace. His regime is also being accused of corruption and financial misappropriation.

Adja Bayo said she was protesting with her daughter; a 24-year-old kindergarten teacher Amie, for her husband Kafo Bayo’s disappearance in May 2016 but they were arrested by Jammeh’s security forces and detained for ten days. “We were subjected to physical abuse including beating with a metal pole.”

Mrs. Bayo said she and her daughter were kept incommunicado for ten days at a detention site without due process of the law and they were deprived from sleeping by pouring freezing water on them and beating them with steel pipes.

Alhagie Jobe, a former deputy editor-in chief of Mr. Jammeh’s pro-government newspaper; the Daily Observer was arrested, detained and tortured by the defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in 2013. He was later tried on four felony counts including sedition but was later acquitted and he fled to Senegal where he seek refuge following continued death threats by the NIA.

Gambia’s former deputy Sheriff of the High Court Alhagie Sonko was also arrested and detained at the Mile 2 State Central Prison in 2009, on allegation of conspiracy and economic crimes. His matter was reported to have been ignited by one of his colleagues who accused him of corruption to Mr. Jammeh.

After a prolonged two-year trial at the High Court, Mr. Sonko was found not guilty, but he was never reinstated.

Former political prisoner Ballo Kanteh said, burns he suffered from a melted plastic that was dripped on his skin by Jammeh’s hit-squad -the junglers- can still be seen visible on his body. Mr. Kanteh said he spent 18 years in detention at Mile 2, where he was held in solitary confinement in a pitch dark cell that permanently damaged his eyesight.

One Musa, who changed his name to protect his identity was one of the victims of Mr. Jammeh’s concocted HIV/AIDS training programme. He explained how Mr. Jammeh forced him to stop taking anti-retroviral drugs during his herbal treatment.

Mr. Jammeh’s herbal treatment of HIV/AIDS provide dangerous hoax, which led to the death of many of his patients during their treatment. His patients are always paraded on national television without their consent.

Author: Sanna Jallow