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Victims of Jammeh – portraits by Jason Florio

13 year old Bintu looking at a picture on her phone of Lamin Tunkara, the father she never met© Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters of a regime’

Bintu – the 13-year-old daughter of Adama Conteh and Lamin Tunkara. Adama was 7 Months pregnant with Bintu and married less than a year when Lamin was murdered in July 2005. He was part of a group of more than 50 Ghanaians and other West African migrants bound for Europe killed by Gambian security forces, known as the Junglers, who accused the migrants  of being mercenaries who wanted to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh.


“The West African migrants weren’t murdered by rogue elements, but by a paramilitary death squad taking orders from Gambia’s President Jammeh,” said Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Jammeh’s subordinates then destroyed key evidence to prevent international investigators from learning the truth.” HRW.


Shortly before his murder, Lamin was arrested and moved from one police station to another. At each of the two stations, his wife was allowed, each day, to take him food. However, around a week into his detention, Lamin suddenly disappeared from the second police station.  A heavily pregnant Adama went to every police station, and prison in the Gambia, looking for him –  ‘no one knows him here’, she was repeatedly told. “I did not eat or wash for one week…my family was worried (for the health of her unborn child)”. She searched for Lamin for over a year – “he loved me, he took care of me…I could not believe the rumors that he was dead”. She even went to the feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters and was warned off  – ‘go home if you do not want any trouble…stay and you will have trouble’.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Thirteen years later, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, the sole known survivor of the 2005 massacre, returned to the Gambia for the first time since the killings to tell Adama what had happened to her husband, Lamin. It was only then that she, and Lamin’s father, fully accepted that Lamin was dead.

Words by Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio photographs Adama Conteh and her daughter, Bintu, the Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

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March 2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime‘ in The Gambia, West Africa

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Instagram – Jason Florio, photographer/filmmaker

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Award-winning, photojournalist & filmmaker, Jason Florio, currently in the Gambia, West Africa – working on ‘Gambia-victims and resisters of a regime#Portraits4PositiveChange


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

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@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

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Jan 19, 2017- The new president of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, inauguration, Senegal, West Africa

President Adama Barrow’s inauguration day Image © Jason Florio, Bakau, The Gambia, 2017

19th January 2017: Wally Sanyang and his friends watching the inauguration on T.V. of their new president, Adama Barrow, who is in the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Meanwhile, ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, refuses to cede power and remains in the State House in the Gambian capital of Banjul. ECOWAS troops, from neighboring West African countries, enter the country to help prevent a coup by Gambian troops loyal to Jammeh

GambiaHasDecided

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A Red Cross coordinator, two days after dictator, Yahya Jammeh, fled into exile, holding The Daily Observer, showing the front page depicting the news of Adama Barrow’s inauguration – which took place at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, in neighbouring Senegal, because the authorities felt the country was not secure enough for Barrow to return.

February 18th, 2017: President Adama Barrow’s arrival to the Independence Stadium, Bakau, for his inauguration, The Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio

An incredible day in the history of The Gambia, West Africa – February 18th, 2017. A rapturous welcome, and a time of hope – after the 22-year dictatorial rule of Yayha Jammeh –  as tens of thousands of Gambians, welcome home their new president, Adama Barrow who, when the ousted Jammeh refused to step down, for his own safety exiled himself to neighbouring Senegal.

Happy Independence Day to The Gambia, and the Gambians!

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Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

Gambia Portraits of Victims and Resisters of a Regime © Jason Florio

 

Gambia Portraits © Jason Florio - Ebrima Jabang, Tujering, The Gambia - In april 2016 Jabang was tortured by Yahya Jammeh's dictatorial regime

Gambia Portraits © Jason Florio – Ebrima Jabang, Tujering, The Gambia, West Africa

 

Gambia portraits – Ebrima Jabang, age 64, was arrested along with the opposition activist, Solo Sandeng, during the April 14th 2016 peaceful protest for electoral reform. He was taken to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters, tied face down on a table and tortured by Yahya Jammeh’s personal hit squad, the Junglers, permanently losing the sight in is right eye among other internal injuries. Jabang said that he could hear the screams of Solo Sandeng, who was being tortured in another room. Sandeng died on the same day, as a result of being tortured.

Gambia Portraits - Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of murdered activist, Solo Sandeng, whilst she was in exile in Dakar Senegal © Jason Florio

Gambia Portraits – Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of murdered activist, Solo Sandeng, whilst she was in exile in Senegal © Jason Florio.

Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime

A Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) began in January 2019, in The Gambia, to investigate ex-president, Yahya Jammeh’s, 22-year authoritarian rule whereby mass human rights violations took place. A momentous, and historical, time for the Gambia, and Gambians to be able to speak so freely once again. For the past two years, we have had the privilege of being able to photograph and film the testimonies of victims, and resisters of the Jammeh regime

#GambiaHasDecided

If you would like to be part of #Portraits4PositiveChange, please check out our GoFundMe page.

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Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB