Tag Archives: human rights

Martin Kyere, Ghana - the sole known survivor of the 2005 massacre by Gambian security forces, ordered by President Yahya Jammeh . Image © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio 'Gambia-victims, and resisters' of a regime

Ghanaian, Martin Kyere – sole survivor of the 2005 massacre, The Gambia – testifies today at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission

Ghanaian, Martin Kyere – sole survivor of the 2005 massacre, in The Gambia, testifies live today at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).

Interviewing Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, sole survivor of the 2005 massacre of migrants in the Gambia ©Jason Florio
Interviewing Martin Kyere, in Ghana, Image © Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

In July 2005, over 50 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. Martin was the only person to escape the massacre.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

After managing to slip the rope from his wrist, Martin said: “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 knew then that his friends were being killed. Taken from an interview with Martin, by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Martin is now part of a campaign to bring Jammeh to Justice for himself and the families of all of those whose loved ones were executed in The Gambia, during one week in July 2005.

Poster advertising the screening of 'I Cannot Bury My Father' short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography - Jason Florio

Screening of ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’ short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography – Jason Florio

Watch: ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’

Screening at the African Film Festival, NYC, 2021 – a short documentary about the 2005 massacre. Director of Photography – Jason Florio

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CURRENT LOCATION: MARCH, 2021

ABIDJAN & THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

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Header Image: Martin Kyere, in Ghana ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio from their ongoing series, ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Poster advertising the screening of 'I Cannot Bury My Father' short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography - Jason Florio

‘I Cannot Bury My Father’ documentary – African Film Festival, New York, 2021

I am honoured to have worked as Director of Photography on the short documentary film, ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’. And, thrilled that it has been selected for this year’s African Film Festival, New York, 2021. More news and links coming soon.

Poster advertising the screening of 'I Cannot Bury My Father' short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography - Jason Florio
Advertising the screening of ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’ short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography – Jason Florio

In 2005, Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh murdered 56 West African migrants out of fear they were mercenaries intending to overthrow him. The disappearance of their slain bodies robbed families of healing and closure by being unable to bury their loved ones. Isaac Mensah, one of the victim’s sons, shares the emotional toll of this atrocity and his quest for answers… ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’, African Film Festival

Isaac Mensah, James Town beach, Accra, Ghana © Jason Florio. Isaac is the son of one of 44 murdered Ghanian migrants, by Gambian security forces, in The Gambia, in 2005.
Presenter of ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’: Isaac Mensah, James Town beach, Accra, Ghana. The son of Peter Mensah, one of 44 Ghanaians killed by Gambian security forces in July 2005. Portrait © Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’ series

I Cannot Bury My Father’

Director/Producer – Nana_Jo_Ndow

Presenter – Isaac Mensah

Director of Photography – Jason Florio

Second Camera – Festus Jackson-Davis

Editor – Gabriel Baron

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters

Photographer, and filmmaker, Jason Florio, with Isaac Mensah and his family, during the filming of ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’, Ghana. Image courtesy of Festus-Jackson Davies

See more of Jason Florio’s multimedia work:

‘Motion’

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CURRENT LOCATION: FEBRUARY, 2021

THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

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President Adama Barrow of The Gambia arriving back to home crowds of well wishes estimated in the hundreds of thousands.© Jason Florio

On this day: Jan 26, 2017 – President Adama Barrow returns home to The Gambia, West Africa

On this day Jan 26th, 2017

A triumphant, and momentous day for The Gambia, West Africa. Ten’s of thousands of euphoric Gambians lined the streets for miles – and miles! (an estimated over 100,000 Gambians flocked the main road) – to welcome home their new president, Adama Barrow. Due to potential security risks, Barrow had briefly exiled himself to neighbouring Senegal, where he was inaugurated at the Gambian Embassy, Dakar.

President Adama Barrow of The Republic of The Gambia, arrives back into the country after his self-imposed exile in Senegal © jason_florio-9706
President Adama Barrow, returns home from exile, to The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

#GambiaHasDecided

On December 1st, 2016, the Gambian people voted out their autocratic President Yahya Jammeh, after 22 years in power, and elected Adama Barrow as their new president. Jammeh conceded defeat, but a week later announced that he was annulling the election results and would not step down. A grassroots movement #GambiaHasDecided emerged in reaction.

Activists initially set up billboards with the slogan #GambiaHasDecided. The billboards were torn down by Jammeh loyalists. Not to be intimidated, the activists around the country turned to spray painting the slogan.

Gambian’s new president Adama Barrow, who was sworn into power in Dakar due to security concerns arrives back to Gambia, marking the first democratic transfer of power since 1965. Image ©Jason Florio

100's of 1000's of people welcome back their new President, Adama Barrow, of the Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio
100’s of 1000’s of people welcome back their new President, Adama Barrow, of the Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Gambia's new president, Adama Barrow, at Banjul Airport, The Gambia, after being sworn in in Dakar, Senegal, for security reasons ©Jason Florio
Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow, reception at Banjul Airport, The Gambia – returning from exile in Dakar, Senegal, where, for security reasons, he was sworn into office ©Jason Florio

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100's of 1000's of people welcome back their new President, Adama Barrow, of the Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio
100’s of 1000’s of people welcome back their new President, Adama Barrow, of the Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio

On this day: Jan 26, 2017 – President Adama Barrow returns home to The Gambia, West Africa

VIMEO: President, Adama Barrow, arrives back to The Gambia to a rapturous reception, Banjul Airport. iPhone footage ©Jason Florio

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CURRENT LOCATION: JANUARY-FEBRUARY, 2021

 THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

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Watch: ‘Project Trust – Security Sector Reform in The Gambia’

A short film by Jason Florio, Helen Jones-Florio, Florio Films, and Andy Thompson, Gaia Media, for DAI, funded by the European Union

‘Project Trust – Security Sector Reform in The Gambia’ for DAI

Following the turmoil of a contested presidential election in 2016, The Gambia faced an uncertain future. While the population had high expectations for the political transition, a fragile economy along with the state’s poor record in providing basic public services threatened the country’s stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections in 2017 paved the way for policymakers to restore fiscal sustainability and lay the groundwork for the country’s economic recovery. The European Union has supported the democratic transition from the outset with an ambitious budget support program that includes complementary support measures implemented by a technical assistance team… DAI

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Florio Films & Gaia Media

Collaboration

The Gambia: Filming ‘Project Trust’. Image © Helen Jones-Florio

CURRENT LOCATION: DECEMBER 2020 – THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

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