Day 4: Continuation of the examination of the March 2006 charges
(acts of torture, false imprisonment and sexual violence committed as crimes against humanity)
As part of an attempted coup d’état in March 2006, Ousman Sonko is being accused, as an accomplice of a group of perpetrators, of having tortured various people, including members of the army, politicians and journalists, of having illegally deprived them of their freedom, as well as of having committed rape in Banjul (The Gambia).
For reasons related to the dignity of the plaintiff, the identity will not be disclosed as well as details of the plaintiff’s statement.
Ousman Sonko contested all the charges, on the events of 2006, brought against him in relation to this second plaintiff.
The latter explained in her statement that she was arrested on 24 March 2006 and detained, then brought to the premises of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). She found herself in a room where many people – amongst whom Ousman Sonko and the former vice-director of the NIA – were sitting. She was interrogated on the attempted coup that was suspected to have taken place. During her presence at the NIA, she was subjected to intense violence, raped, humiliated and tortured. Following these horrific events, she was put in jail.
She was detained for several weeks before being brought – along with other people – again to the NIA where she saw Ousman Sonko. Only afterwards had she been released.
In October of the same year, she was arrested again at her home and put again in prison, where she stayed in solitary confinement before being brought to the NIA once more. There, she was interrogated about the involvement of other persons in the coup. Eventually, she was released.
The plaintiff mentioned the physical and mental impacts these acts had on her since then.
She recalled the Swiss court how the Gambian judicial system was an accomplice to the government, within which judges were answering to the orders of the President.
Coming next: Hearings continue on the March 2006 alleged coup plotters’ torture events.
This article was first published by TRIAL International in the link below.