“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.
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!“
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
Currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignmentsqueries
Documentary film making in Ghana, West Africa (more news on that soon…). After wrapping filming today we watched as local fishermen gather their nets at the end of a days fishing, James Town beach, Accra.
I was taken downstairs (everyone knows that this is where the bad things happen at the NIA -National Intelligence Agency). They covered my eyes with something, and I felt 3-4 people push behind me, and I felt an injection in my back – you know…like a big staple gun – and then I felt something enter my system…burning me inside. I was screaming, shouting, calling to Allah for help. Then they took me to the beating grounds…” Mr. Njie
Njie, a local taxi driver, was inadvertently caught up in a demonstration by the UDP opposition party on April 14th 2016 and arrested by the former president, Yahya Jammeh’s, security forces. Despite simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Njie was held, without charge for 3 months “Oh my god, Mile 2, it is like hell…no dignity, they treat you like donkeys, animals, even the smallest of boys…no respect” Mr.Njie
With Jammeh’s 2016 election defeat, he went into exile after a standoff with regional forces, and the victims of his regime started to come forward.
So far, over 1000 victims and their families have registered with the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations to share their stories and help build international support to bring Jammeh to justice
For three days I did not know who I was…where I was. My clothes, they looked like, you know, like a butchers… (covered in blood) Kafo Bayo
Ya Mammie Ceesay, mother of disappeared Gambian-American businessman Alhaji Mamut Ceesay. Alhaji returned to the Gambia in 2013 with his friend Ebou Jobe to set up a business, but they were allegedly robbed of their money by National Intelligence Agency heads, who later told President Jammeh the businessmen were in the Gambia to overthrow his regime. The two were then allegedly murdered on Jammeh’s command.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – compelling images & personal accounts at the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations – “Portraits to Remember” exhibition. Sharon Wardle, British High Commissioner to The Gambia
Jason Florio’s work is towards under-reported stories about people living on the margins of society and human rights. His work has been recognised with a number of awards, including The Magnum Photography Award 2017 for his work on migration. He was the first recipient of the Aperture Foundation grant to produce Aperture’s first ever assigned story, ‘This is Libya’. His work is held in a number of public and private collections and has been presented in solo and joint exhibitions in USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here