Former beauty queen accuses Jammeh of rape
Publish date: 04 November 2019
Issue Number: 848
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: The Gambia
A Gambian former beauty queen has accused former President Yahya Jammeh of raping her to punish her for rejecting his marriage proposal. A report on the News24 site notes that Fatou Jallow who testified before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission accused the disgraced politician of wanting ‘to manifest his ego’. ‘There were words like “who do you think you are?” (and) that he is the President and that he gets any woman that he wants,’ Jallow said. ‘What he wanted to do was hurt me.’ As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea in January 2017 after losing presidential elections and initially refusing to step down. A report on the Japan Times site notes that Jallow’s testimony has concluded three weeks of public hearings dedicated to sexual and gender-based violence under Jammeh’s Presidency, part of a broader probe by the current administration into abuses during his tenure. Another woman who testified to being raped by two security officers in jail and a third woman who said she was raped by Jammeh’s Interior Minister. The commission which is an initiative of current President Adama Barrow, opened in January with an aim to investigate suspected atrocities that were committed under Jammeh and to consider reparations for victims. The UN says about one in five women in Gambia have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner. ‘Hopefully this will start a conversation in Gambia about sexual violence and about the abuse of women and girls,’ said Reed Brody, a lawyer working with Jallow and other victims.