‘Stelle Del Mare’ (stars of the sea) – The people, they arrive to you early seeking your silky salty comfort. Some are old men who trace the sign of the cross on their chests before submerging into you, some are looking to you to hide their inhibitions and sexual gamings, some are drunks seeking solace from an all-nighter. You do not discriminate and welcome all.
I have spent years on the road attempting to tell the stories of others. In this time of COVID ‘lockdowns’ and seemingly unending up-endings of our lives, I have needed to slip into a more contemplative state; looking for a less literal and more visceral form of storytelling. This new ongoing series of ‘postcards’ from our Malta window and close by, onto the Mediterranean sea was born of the subconscious – a speechless full moon that nudges my conscious minds-eye to react – but whatever story there might be in the frame, is open to imagination, interpretation and meditation… Jason Florio / follow @jasonflorio Instagram to see the ‘Stelle Del Mare’ series unfold
Gambia – justice for 2005 massacre: July 22nd, 2020 – Today marks 15 years since Gambian security forces, on the orders of then-President Yahya Jammeh, killed over 50 West African migrants.
In July 2005, 56 West African migrants, including 44 Ghanaians were murdered in The Gambia en route to Europe. The unarmed migrants were killed by the ‘Junglers’, a death squad reporting directly to Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s dictator at the time. Evidence has since emerged that Yahya Jammeh gave the orders to kill them. The families of the victims are still seeking justice. At the time of release of this documentary, Yahya Jammeh is in exile in Equatorial Guinea – ANEKED – watch the documentary, ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’
Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, is the sole known survivor of the 2005 massacre in The Gambia of the West African migrants.
“When one of the soldiers used his cutlass to cut off Adamo’s shoulder and the blood is flowing all over the place…I think we realized then, that the soldiers wanted to kill us all.”
After their capture, the migrants were badly beaten and then split into two groups and handed over to the Junglers, Jammeh’s hit squad. Over one week, the Junglers summarily executed the group. Martin managed to slip the rope from his wrist and escape into the bush, undercover of the night, minutes before the executions began of the group he was with. He spent 4 days walking in the Gambian bush avoiding coming into contact with anyone until he was able to cross the border to safety in southern Senegal.
“I jumped From the pickup and into the forest. I heard the soldiers shouting at me, but I did not look back. I ran harder…I tripped on something in the forest that brought me down and gunshots passed over me and around me. But, it was dark so I lay still and waited until it was safe to move again. I could hear behind me ‘Oh God save us, Oh God save us’, and gunshots”. Martin told us that he knew then that his friends were being killed.
Martin is now part of a campaign to bringJammeh2Justice, for himself and the families of all of those whose loved ones were executed in The Gambia and Senegal in July 2005.
“A credible international investigation is needed if we’re ever going to get to the bottom of the 2005 massacre of West African migrants and create the conditions to bring those responsible to justice,” said Emeline Escafit, legal adviser at TRIAL International. “Until now, information has come out in dribs and drabs, year after year, from different sources.” Human Rights Watch
Current Location:July 2020 – Malta
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