By Ousman Saidykhan
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in partnership with the Women’s Association for Victims’ Empowerment (WAVE) and the Civil Society’s Gender Platform have launched a study report that seeks to point out appropriate ways in which survivors of SGBV could get adequate reparations.
The ceremony was held on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
ICTJ Gambia Head of Programs, Didier Gbery expressed his conviction that the report would “serve as an opportunity to raise awareness among different stakeholders on the main findings.”
Mr Gbery explained that violence against women has been a sensitive topic in many countries that have embarked on a transitional justice process. “One, that is sometimes even avoided. These issues are delicate and raising them without the proper safeguards, can aggravate the situation of the victims,” said Mr Gbery.
The report has taken almost nine months to cover SGBV violations meted out on victims during the 22 years regime of the former president, Yahya Jammeh (1994 – 2017). The interviews were conducted in Essau, Sabach Njien, Basse, Sintet, Brikama Ba and Greater Banjul.
According to Mr Gbery, “the study focused on the remote areas of the country because we wanted to focus on the most vulnerable amongst the victims”. The report has chronicled the experiences of at least seventy-seven (77) victims of sexual violence under the Jammeh government. Sixty-five (65) out of those interviewed were female while twelve (12) were male.
“We hope that the Gambian society will take advantage of this submission to build a new democratic era for the improvement of the situation of Gambian women and girls,” said Mr Gbery.
The report revealed that more than half of sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and forced nudity suffered by the victims were committed during the witch hunt campaign (54%) followed by unlawful arrest and detention (39%) and fake HIV treatment (6%).