#NeverAgainGambia – In Remembrance of Deyda Hydara, June 9, 1946 – December 16, 2004

Gambia - victims and resisters: portrait of a man wearing a t-shirt with a photo of murdered newspaper editor and journalist, Dedyra Hydara ©Jason Florio
A young Gambian journalist wears a t-shirt of murdered newspaper editor and journalist, Deyda Hydara (June 9, 1946 – December 16, 2004). Image ©Jason Florio

#NeverAgainGambia – Remembering Deyda Hydara, June 9, 1946 – December 16, 2004, The Gambia. Hydara was gunned down by assailants, whilst in his car, as he was returning from work, in 2004. He was a journalist and co-founder of The Point newspaper and an advocate of press freedom. Hydara was also a fierce critic of the government of President Yahya Jammeh, who was openly hostile to Gambian journalists and the media.

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’
#Portraits4PositiveChange

Baba Hydara with the tattoo of his murdered father, Gambia newspaper editor, and journalist, Deyda Hydara, on his arm © Jason Florio
Baba Hydara with the tattoo of his murdered father, Gambian newspaper editor, and journalist, Deyda Hydara, on his arm © Jason Florio

#NeverAgainGambia

July 22nd, 2019 – At Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on July 22, army officer Lieutenant Malick Jatta named former President Yahya Jammeh as the mastermind behind the murder of prominent editor Deyda Hydara on December 16 , 2004. He said Jammeh had given the direct order to assassinate Hydara, an outspoken critic who was the managing editor and co-owner of independent newspaper The Point. The operation by Jammeh’s infamous hit squad, known as the Junglers, was dubbed “Magic Pen,” Jatta told the commission. CPJ – By Angela Quintal/CPJ Africa Program Coordinator, The Committee to Protect Journalists

#NeverAgainGambia - banner of portraits of victims and resisters, exhibited at the British High Commission, in The Gambia. Portraits ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio
#NeverAgain Gambia – a banner of portraits from the ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’, series by Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio, exhibited at the British High Commission, in The Gambia, Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

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Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow of the #IamToufah movement, The Gambia

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow - the first woman to speak in public, without hiding her identity, about her rape ordeal with former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, at her parents home in The Gambia. Portrait ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow – the first woman to speak publically, without hiding her identity, about her rape ordeal with former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, at her parents’ home in The Gambia. Portrait ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange

Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow – “If there’s no seat at the table of power – let’s build our own! Our activism makes people uncomfortable because it disturbs entrenched power relations and questions the world as it has always worked. But the world needs change, and the Youth will make it happen” at the United Nations, New York – International Human Rights Day, December 10th, 2019

#Portraits4PositiveChange

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio, makes a portrait of Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow, for our on-going series, ‘Gambia- victims, and resisters’ #Portraits4PositiveChange. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

#IamToufahMovement

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, November 2019. Image © Jason Florio (prints on exhibition at the TRRC ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio, from the ongoing series ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters#Portraits4PositiveChange

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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

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The Gambia: Portraits of survivors of Yahya Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS ‘cure’ treatment ©Jason Florio

Fatou Jatta survivour of President Yahya Jammeh's HIV/AIDS 'cure' program - portrait ©Jason Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange, The Gambia
Fatou Jatta – survivor of Yahya Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS ‘cure’ program, The Gambia – portrait ©Jason Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange

“From the time I started the concoction, I got weaker and weaker, my condition got worse. After July, I went to the MRC – which had been my treatment centre – and tested. My CD4 count had dropped to 80 – a threat to me, anything can happen” Fatou Jatta, survivor Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS ‘cure’ program and Member of the Santa Yalla Support Society

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters

In 2007, then President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, announced that he could cure HIV/AIDS with his secret herbal concoction. Jammeh ‘invited’ (under his harsh dictatorship, many survivors say that they were coerced) Gambians living with HIV and AIDS into his Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme. He also ordered them to stop taking antiretroviral drugs, which in some cases proved fatal – as in the case of Lamin Moko Ceesay’s (pictured below) wife who died as a result of stopping her antiretroviral drugs on the orders of Jammeh, when she took part in his treatment program.

Also, without the consent of the patients, Jammeh’s administration of his herbal ‘cure’ was often televised to the nation.

Lamin Ceesay - took part in Yahya Jammeh AIDS/HIV herbal 'cure' trials, the Gambia - portrait ©Jason Florio
Lamin Moko Ceesay – took part in Yahya Jammeh AIDS/HIV herbal ‘cure’ trials, the Gambia – portrait ©Jason Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange, The Gambia

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2019: AIDSFREEWOLD: The survivors filed complaints with The Gambia Medical and Dental Council against Dr. Tamsir Mbowe and Dr. Malick Njie, both of whom served at different points as Jammeh’s Minister of Health. Fatou Jatta, Ousman Sowe, and Lamin “Moko” Ceesay signed the complaint against Dr. Mbowe; Fatou Jatta filed the complaint against Dr. Njie. (Read the letters here.) The survivors are supported in their actions by AIDS-Free World, the Gambia-based Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), and Combeh Gaye of the Gambian law firm Antouman A.B. Gaye & Co.

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters

Ousman Sowe, survivour of President Yahya Jammeh's HIV/AIDS 'cure' program - portrait ©Jason Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange, The Gambia
‘Musa’, survivor of President Yahya Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS ‘cure’ program –
portrait ©Jason Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange, The Gambia

#Portraits4PositiveChange

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’ is a multi-media work-in-progress series – portraits and filmed testimonies by Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio. To date, the portraits have been exhibited at The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations, and at the British High Commissioners Residence, Banjul, and at the Truth, Reconciliation, Reparations Commission (TRRC). See a selection of the portraits on Jason Florio’s website floriophoto.com

Portraits for Positive Change - at the TRRC Gambia ©Jason Florio
‘Portraits for Positive Change’ at the TRRC – donated by the British High Commission, The Gambia ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Jason Florio making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio.
Jason Florio making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio.

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