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, The Gambia Image © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
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 Witch Hunts of 2009, The Gambia – Portraits © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio, taken from the on-going ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’ series
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   
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

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
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: April 2020 – on lockdown in the UK

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No, means NO! Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow Testifies Before the TRRC, Gambia

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies before the TRRC, about being raped by ex-President Yahya Jammeh of 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 watch the TRRC on TV in a bar as Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio
Young Gambian men watch the TRRC on TV as Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

#IAMTOUFAH

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

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’
#Portraits4PositiveChange


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TRRC Billboard – Victims and Resisters #NeverAgainGambia

TRRC Billboard – Gambia victims, and resisters. Image ©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. Through these portraits and collected testimonies, we share the plight of the victims of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh. Huge respect and thanks to the British High Commission Banjul, the Truth Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), and UNDPGambia, for their support.

‘Gambia – victims, and Resisters’

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

Jason Florio making #Portraits4PositiveChange, The Gambia – Awa (with her daughter, and mother-in-law) holds her phone with one of the few photographs that she has of her late husband, Omar Barrow, who was a journalist, and International Community Red Cross volunteer. Omar was shot by a uniformed member of Gambia’s security forces during student protests, April 2000, as he was trying to help injured students at the Red Cross Headquarters. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange


Currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignments queries

and image licensing – Contact here

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Photo of the Day: Edward Singhateh testifies at the TRRC, The Gambia

Edward David Singhateh testifies before the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio

“I’m in the hot seat, right now” Edward David Singhateh, former junta Vice Chairman 

“It’s not that hot…yet!” Essa M.Faal, Lead Counsel , Truth Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC)

Wednesday 16th October 2019- Day 1: Edward David Singhateh‘s testimony begins at the TRRC, The Gambia, West Africa. Singhateh, one of the instigators of the July 22nd, 1994, coup d’état with Yahya Jammeh, has been implicated in the mass execution of counter-coup army officers on November 11th, 1994. Singhateh has also been named in the murder of the former Finance Minister, Ousman Koro Ceesay, who was killed in June of 1995

The Gambia – victims, and resisters

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Young Gambian men watching Edward David Singhateh testify before the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

Currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignments queries

and image licensing – Contact here

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