documentary

GAMBIA: Top Leader in 1994 Coup Testifies before the TRRC. Image ©Jason Florio/JusticeInfo.net

Image © Jason Florio - The Gambia, Edward Singhateh, former Defense Minister, testifies before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, Oct 2019.
In a much-attended hearing before the Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, former military junta number 2, Edward Singhateh, admitted to having ordered several executions. “It was wrong and I’m sorry,” he said. Image © Jason Florio for JusticeInfo.net

“IT WAS WRONG AND I AM SORRY” Edward David Singhateh

Former Defense minister Edward Singhateh admitted ordering the execution of several soldiers on November 11, 1994, in his much-awaited testimony yesterday October 17 before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, in The Gambia. A former n° 2 of the military junta, he asked for forgiveness while denying several other accusations…

“Isn’t it convenient that you are always there but you never did it?” asked Lead Counsel, TRRC, Essa Faal.

“Sir, I did not shoot,” replied Singhateh.

“You see, what I am doing is to show your strategy: ‘Oh I was there, my people participated but I did not.’ You are trying to seal yourself from responsibility.”

“As a marksman, Sir, I still hold a record of sharp-shooting in the GNA [Gambia National Army]. If I wanted to kill, none of the people would have escaped. They were running in a straight line.” 

Read the full feature by Mustapha K. Darboe / JusticeInfo.net

#NeverAgainGambia

Edward Singhateh swears, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, Oct 2019, The Gambia. Image ©Jason Florio

Prints on exhibit at the TRRC

‘Portraits4PositiveChange’ ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

Edward Singhateh begins his testimony before Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, Oct 2019, – The Gambia. Image ©Jason Florio


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Victims of Sexual Gender-Based Violence – TRRC, The Gambia

Victim of sexual violence, Bintu Nyabally, testifies at Gambia's TRRC. Bintu was raped by two masked security men whilst in police custody. Image ©Jason Florio
Victim of sexual violence, Bintu Nyabally, testifies at Gambia’s TRRC. Image ©Jason Florio

 “No, this was done to me, and I want
justice…these men should be punished” Bintu Nyabally, victim of sexual violence whilst in police custody

The Gambia, West Africa, October 14th, 2019 – Bintu Nyabally, gave her testimony to the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC). Bintu was arrested on 9th May 2016, after leaving the court hearing of Ousainou Darboe, a member of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), in Banjul. She was attending in solidarity for her uncle, opposition activist and UDP member, Solo Sandeng, who was beaten to death whilst in police custody in April 2016.

Gambia – victims, and resisters

During her detention, Bintu said that she was raped by two different security officers, wearing masks. When we met her in December 2018, to make her portrait, and film her testimony, we asked her if she would prefer that we disguise her identity in the photograph. Bintu’s adamant response was, “No! this was done to me, and I want justice… these men should be punished!

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Victim of rape and beatings by Gambian security forces, The Gambia - portrait by Jason Florio
Bintu Nyabally – portrait ©Jason Florio. From the series ‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters

The TRRC is an independent Gambian institution mandated to conduct research and investigations into human rights violations committed under the presidency of Yahya Jammeh. The Commission further aims to prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered under the past regime by making recommendations to government and citizens aimed at ensuring the crimes of the past never recur in The Gambia. TRRC Homepage

Memorial march for victims of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio
Peaceful march for victims of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa, 2018 © Jason Florio

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Witch Hunts, The Gambia, West Africa – portrait ©Jason Florio

Portrait of Sankung Balajo - victims of President Yahya Jammeh's witch hunts, The Gambia, in 2009 © Jason Florio
Sankung Balajo – victims of President Yahya Jammeh’s witch hunts, The Gambia © Jason Florio

“I was kept for five days. When they forced me to take the medicine (‘Kubehjaro’ a hallucinogenic substance), I could no longer stand up… I fell down on the ground… ” excerpt from Sankung Balajo’s interview with Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio: ‘Gambiavictims, and resisters

Witch hunts, The Gambia, West Africa: In 2009, Sankung Balajo was one of over 1000 elders abducted on the orders of then-President Yahya Jammeh. Paramilitary troops accompanied by ‘magicians’ from Guinea went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches. The alleged witches were made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. A number of people died during the ordeal, due to drinking the liquid and as a result of severe beatings, and several deaths followed due to health complications, such as kidney failure.

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Jason Florio interviewing Sankung Balajo, Essau, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

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Instagram – Jason Florio Photojournalist and Filmmaker

Instagram Jason Florio Photojournalist and Filmmaker
Images © @jasonflorio/Instagram

Above Instagram images:

Top row – L-R: Photoville 2019, NYC; Remembering 9/11; fellow passenger, flying from the UK-USA

Middle row – L-R: Dog catchers, Nigeria; motor taxis ‘okadas’, Nigeria; fellow passengers, flying from Nigeria-Ghana

Bottom Row – L-R: all three images from Nigeria

@jasonflorio / Instagram

Instagram Jason Florio Photojournalist and Filmmaker
Images © @jasonflorio/Instagram

Above images from documentary filming, in Ghana; Gambia – victims, and resisters (#Portraits4PositiveChange); ‘Destination Europe’ (migrant/refugee rescues)

For regular photo and location updates, follow @jasonflorio / Instagram


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels  / @jasonflorio_photoprints– Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio Photojournalist – FB

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