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.
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.
We are thrilled to be chosen for The Photoville FENCE, 2020, with ‘Gambia – victims and resisters‘ – an ongoing multimedia body of work that began back in 2016. With the blessing of those we have photographed and filmed, our intention has always been to share their very personal and traumatic stories far and wide. Heartfelt thanks to the FENCE jurors and the Photoville team for helping us to achieve this.
‘The Photoville FENCE is a year-round public photography project exhibited in major parks and downtowns across North America. Featuring over 90 photographers annually, the exhibition brings compelling visual stories into the public realm, and to a wide and diverse audience.
The 9th edition will be displayed in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Calgary, Denver, Durham, Houston, Metro (Fargo, W. Fargo and Moorhead), New Orleans, Sarasota, Seattle and Winchester!‘ Read/see more: The Photoville FENCE
President Yahya Jammeh ruled The Gambia with an iron fist fortwenty two years after taking control of the country with a coup in July1994. With Jammeh’s exile after electoral defeat in 2016, a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was set up to look into his regime’s abuses. The TRRC along with victims families and local media at Yundum army Barracks where the bodies of seven murdered soldiers were exhumed. The soldiers were murdered by soldiers loyal to Jammeh for being allegedly part of a counter coup in November 1994. Witnesses say eleven soldiers were buried at the barracks, so far only seven have been found. Along with the bone fragments, electrical cables were also found that were used to bind the victims hands. The only clothing found were underwear, corroborating witness testimonies that the men were stripped almost naked before being shot.
From 1994 -2017 President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia, West Africa, as his own personal fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition, with brutality.
His personal hit squad and intelligence agency carried out tortures, and assassinations with impunity – journalists were gunned down and disappeared, ministers were jailed, students shot in cold blood, and even his own brother and sister were murdered on his orders.
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.
Cast your vote for the People’s Choice Winner of the 9th edition of the Photoville FENCE! Help decide the artist who will receive a Leica camera package and a yearlong mentorship with the Photoville team.
Individuals may cast one vote per day from now through January 2021.
Header image: Gambian student, Ami Lowe.
“I grew up not knowing the love of a father. I was only three years old when he disappeared, so I don’t remember him. I only know him through what people have told me, that he was a good man, and some say he was a hero.” Amie Lowe
Press: El Pais –Gambia, The Hidden Horrors of Africa’s Silent Dictatorship
– Three years after the fall of the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, pressured by the street after losing at the polls, a commission (Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations – TRRC) brings to light the terrible crimes committed for two decades, supported by its apparatus of repression, the collusion of justice and the outside inaction – Read the full feature El Pais / words by José Naranjo Noble
The images are from the on-going multimedia series
“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.”