Gambia: Women physically tortured, raped and produced in Court to send a message

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There are certain conditions no human being dead or alive should be subjected to no matter the circumstances. Humans are sacred animal beings created in the most  beautiful manner engulfed in a beautiful body and mind. When such unique creatures are shown in certain conditions every human being with blood running in their veins must come to their senses and be shocked with conditions they see. In other words no human being deserve to be subjected to the most cruel and inhumane manner a nation has ever seen regardless of the circumstances.

This was the condition of three Gambian women produced at a high court today in Banjul capital of the small West African state of the Gambia. When Fatoumata Jawara, Nogoi Njie and Fatou Camara three women who were arrested along with other protesters on April 14th for protesting against their government and kept in incommunicado showed up at the high court in Banjul today, jaws dropped and hearts sank in disbelief. The court erupted in screams and cries from grown men and women who could not open their eyes to see the state of these battered women dragged  into court in tattered clothes, physical bruises and evidence of rape on clothes they have been wearing for three weeks in detention by their own government.  There has never been a single incident in the history of the Gambia when a court room came to a complete halt in shock on how accused persons physically and mentally appeared.  The situation is so bad that the government has ordered the trials to be held in Camera (Away from the public view).

These three women were allegedly physically beaten and raped repeatedly for three weeks by Gambian security officers loyal to Yahya Jammeh. The condition of the women who are mothers, wives and sisters in the hands of security personnel in Gambia is beyond anything any human with conscience can watch much less describe. People who were present in court could not hold back tears describing the condition of these women and other detainees as “worst condition they have ever seen”.  It was beyond anything one could imagine including the lawyers defending the victims. One eye witness to the victims who were literally physical carried into court said one of the women looked emaciated and showed physical bruises on her face and body. “Something horrible has been done to them” added another eye witness.

The three women were arrested along with several other protesters on April 14th when they peacefully assembled and called for Yahya Jammeh’s government to institute electoral reform. The leader of the protest Solo Sandeng was reportedly tortured to death and his body has not been produced or given to his family. These women were also reported to have been tortured into coma and were alleged to have died. The government of Yahya Jammeh would not produce the women until today when they abruptly were produced before a high court judge in Banjul. The  burden of proof for the safety and security of citizens squarely rest in the hands of the government.

The most shocking and unbelievable thing happening to these women and members of the opposition UDP is something the Gambian people have never seen. Yahya Jammeh who has ruled the tiny West African country with iron  fist for 22 years have trained a brutal force that does not only kidnap citizens but torture and rape  women in violation of their fundamental human rights. How these drunken thugs could torture women and rape them repeatedly is beyond human comprehension. “Raping a women who is in chains is equivalent to one rapping their mother” said an angry political pundit. These animals in human flesh he went on does not belong to any civilized society. Gambians all over the world and on the ground are calling on the International community to intervene to safe the dignity and security of these women and other detainees. They call on human rights  groups, foreign governments especially ECOWAS and the UN to sermon Gambian representatives to explain the brutal torture of these detainees. How a judge who is the custodian of rule of law and justice can deny such battered women bail and send them back to the mercy of their rapists is beyond believe and defies any common justice law.

13131381_10154325008439050_1824440141945648438_oOther detainees including leaders of the United Democratic party are also due in court Thursday May 5th. Gambian women have led persistent demonstration in the courts calling for the unconditional release of these detainees. Several hundred Gambians with banners calling on dictator Yahya Jammeh to step down has steadily been increasing. Despite attempts to block traffic into Banjul these women have literally walked several miles to be present in court in Banjul. What was once described as a forbidden action in Gambia to protest has now been legitimized by the actions of the Jammeh regime. Fear has appeared to have disappeared among Gambians and they are showing courage to resist the regime’s brutal reaction. Meanwhile, Gambian opposition leaders have not been visible during these protests and or have not held any press conferences to call on the authorities to unconditionally release other party leaders. What happens come Thursday is anybody’s guess but one thing is clear, Gambians have had enough and will hit the streets as long as justice has not been rendered on behalf of the victims.

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