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.”
“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