Tag Archives: President Adama Barrow

The Witch Hunts of 2009 – The Gambia. TRRC Digest Edition 10

‘TRRC Digest Edition 10 is out! The 10th session focused on the witch-hunt campaign ordered by Yahya Jammeh against mostly elderly men and women accused of witchcraft in The Gambia. Read the testimonies here ANEKED (African Network Against Extrajudicial Killings & Enforced Disappearances)

The Witch Hunts of 2009, The Gambia. TRRC Digest Edition 10. Dodou Sanyang stands beside the bed of his late mother. Image © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

“Green Boys and magicians came around the village, singing, drumming, and dancing, and targeted NRP (UDP) opposition party members” Doudou Sanyang

The Witch Hunts of 2009 – The Gambia. Dodou Sanyang, in the room of his recently deceased mother, Naa Joni Sonko. She was one of over a thousand elderly people abducted on the order of the former president, Yahya Jammeh. Groups of Jammeh’s paramilitary troops along with his youth brigade, The Green Boys, and ‘magicians’ from Guinea, went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches.

The alleged witches were held for up to five days in secret locations and made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. Some were also severely beaten, and robbed by their captors. Some died at the detention sites, and others like Sanyang’s mother suffered years of illness before dying. Many in Sanyang’s village believe the elderly there were not targeted for witchcraft, but because the village had been an opposition stronghold – Essau, Northbank Division, The Gambia.

The Gambia - a female victim of the 2009 witch huntsTRRC Digest Edition #10 - Portraits © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio, taken from the on-going 'Gambia - victims, and resisters'
The Witch Hunts of 2009, The Gambia – Portraits © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio, taken from the on-going ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’ series
Portrait of Sankung Balajo - victims of President Yahya Jammeh's witch hunts, The Gambia, in 2009 © Jason Florio
The Witch Hunts of 2009, The Gambia – Sankung Balajo, one of over one thousand elders abducted on the orders of then-President, Yahya Jammeh.. © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

“I was kept for five days. When they forced me to take the medicine (‘Kubehjaro’ a hallucinogenic substance), I could no longer stand up… I fell down on the ground… ” Sankung Balajo

See more of the portraits, used in the past and present TRRC Digest Editions, taken from the ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’ on-going multimedia series – a collaboration between Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Photography exhibition opening night at the National Centre for Arts and Culture, Banjul. Portraits ©Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio Gambia-victims, and resisters, Portraits to Remember
Opening night of ‘The Duty to Remember’ exhibition at the National Centre for Arts & Culture, Banjul, The Gambia. A collaboration with ANEKED. Portraits on display ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio. Exhibition Image ©Jason Florio

Current Location: May 2020 – on lockdown in the UK

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Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow Testifies Before the TRRC, The Gambia

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies before the TRRC about being raped by ex-president Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the TRRC, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio


“The most powerful man in the Gambia, who am I for anybody to listen to, to believe me, and where do I say this, and when do I say it? What do I expect is going to happen?

This did not happen…this did not happen…this did not happen…BUT, that is what happened on the night Yahya Jammeh raped me, and how he did it” – Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, The Gambia

Young Gambian men watching Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testify before the TRRC on TV in a bar in Kololi, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

#IAMTOUFAH

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies before the TRRC about being raped by ex-president Yayha Jammeh, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the TRRC, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

#Portraits4PositiveChange


Jason Florio is currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignment queries

and image licensing – Contact here

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Billboard Gambia Victims and Resisters – images ©Jason Florio

Billboard Gambia victims and resisters,TRRC ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange
Billboard Gambia victims and resisters ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange

‘The TRRC is not a court of law. It cannot prosecute or give amnesty. It can only recommend for prosecution or the granting of amnesty’

Billboard Gambia Victims and Resisters – huge thanks to the British High Commission Banjul, the Truth Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), and UNDPGambia, for their support, through these portraits and collected testimonies, on sharing the plight of the victims of the former Yahya Jammeh Regime

‘Gambia – victims, and Resisters’

See more of this on-going, multi-media, body of work at floriophoto.com. A collaboration with Helen Jones-Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Victim of rape and beatings by Gambian security forces, The Gambia - portrait by Jason Florio
Bintu Nyabally was detained for five days, beaten and raped by three masked security officers at the Gambia Police Intervention Unit (PIU) HQ ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio From the series ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’

“No, this was done to me, and I want justice…
these men should be punished” Bintu, victim of rape whilst in police custody

‘Bintu Nyabally was detained for five days, beaten and raped by three masked security officers at the Gambia Police Intervention Unit (PIU) HQ, after being arrested during a May 9th 2016 rally to demand the release of illegally detained protesters from previous rallies held on April 15th/16th, 2016. When asked if she would prefer that we keep her identity anonymous her adamant reply was “No, this was done to me, and I want justice…these men should be punished”‘ From the series ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’

'Portraits for Positive Change' exhibition booklet ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
#NeverAgain booklet, printed for the British High Commission exhibition, May 2019 ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
Interviewing Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, sole survivor of the 2005 massacre of migrants in the Gambia ©Jason Florio
Interviewing Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, in Ghana – the sole survivor of a massacre that took place in The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

Interviewing sole survivor of a massacre, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere. Martin was one of a group of over 50 West African migrants, who were endeavouring to reach Europe when the boat they boarded in Senegal veered off course and landed in The Gambia… read more

#NeverAgainGambia

Le Monde - #Portraits4PositiveChange Former deputy sheriff, Alagie Sonko was imprisoned after denouncing corruption in his service. ©Jason Florio
Le Monde Afrique – Former deputy sheriff, Alagie Sonko, was imprisoned after denouncing corruption in his service. ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio is currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignment queries

and image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels  / @jasonflorio_photoprints– Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

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Witch Hunts, The Gambia, West Africa – portrait ©Jason Florio

Portrait of Sankung Balajo - victims of President Yahya Jammeh's witch hunts, The Gambia, in 2009 © Jason Florio
Sankung Balajo – victims of President Yahya Jammeh’s witch hunts, The Gambia © Jason Florio /Helen Jones-Florio

“I was kept for five days. When they forced me to take the medicine (‘Kubehjaro’ a hallucinogenic substance), I could no longer stand up… I fell down on the ground… ” excerpt from Sankung Balajo’s interview with Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio: ‘Gambiavictims, and resisters

Witch hunts, The Gambia, West Africa: In 2009, Sankung Balajo was one of over 1000 elders abducted on the orders of then-President Yahya Jammeh. Paramilitary troops accompanied by ‘magicians’ from Guinea went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches. The alleged witches were made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. A number of people died during the ordeal, due to drinking the liquid and as a result of severe beatings, and several deaths followed due to health complications, such as kidney failure.

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Jason Florio interviewing Sankung Balajo, Essau, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

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