A 23-yr-outdated previous natural beauty queen in The Gambia, Toufah Jallow, has claimed she was raped in 2015 by ex-President Yahya Jammeh when he was in workplace.
Her testimony is section of a Human Legal rights Look at and Demo Intercontinental report that aspects a different alleged rape and sexual assault by Mr Jammeh.
The BBC experimented with to get hold of Mr Jammeh, who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea, about the allegations.
A spokesman for his APRC occasion denied the accusations created towards Mr Jammeh.
“We as a bash and The Gambian people are worn out of the continual stream of unfounded allegations that have been noted towards our ex-president,” stated Ousman Rambo Jatta, in a created assertion to the BBC.
“The ex-president has no time to react to lies and smear campaigns. He is a very respectable God fearing and pious chief who has very little but respect for our Gambian gals,” the deputy APRC chief stated.
Ms Jallow instructed the BBC she desired to fulfill Mr Jammeh, 54, in court so he could encounter justice.
“I have definitely tried out to conceal the story and erase it and make confident it can be not portion of me.
“Realistically I couldn’t so I resolved to communicate now because it is time to tell the tale and to make positive that Yayha Jammeh hears what he has completed.”
She explained she also required to testify ahead of The Gambia’s Real truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Fee (TRRC), which has been established up by President Adama Barrow, who received elections in December 2016.
The TTRC is investigating human rights violations alleged to have been committed all through Mr Jammeh’s 22-year rule, like stories of extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary detention.
He was forced from office environment in January 2017 right after regional powers sent in troops when he refused to give up electrical power.
Ms Jallow claimed she was 18 when she satisfied Mr Jammeh just after successful a beauty pageant in 2014 in the money, Banjul.
In the months adhering to her coronation, she mentioned the former president acted as a father determine when they met, presenting her information, presents and income, and also organising for managing water to be installed in her family home.
Then at a evening meal organised by an aide to the president, she says he asked her to marry him. She refused and rebuffed other enticements from the aide to concur to the present.
Ms Jallow claimed the aide then insisted she show up at a spiritual ceremony at State House in her job as natural beauty queen in June 2015. But when she arrived, she was taken to the president’s personal home.
“It was obvious what this was heading to be,” she stated, describing Mr Jammeh’s anger at her for rejecting him.
Ms Jallow suggests he slapped her and injected her in her arm with a needle.
“He rubbed his genitals in my face, pushed me down to my knees, pulled my costume up and sodomised me.”
The younger woman claims afterwards she locked herself at property for three days and then resolved to flee to neighbouring Senegal.
When in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, Ms Jallow sought the assistance of various human rights organisations. Weeks afterwards, she was approved security standing and moved to Canada, the place she has been living due to the fact.
Human Legal rights Watch (HRW) and Trial Global say Mr Jammeh experienced a procedure in position to abuse females, where by some have been set on the point out payroll and worked at Condition Property as so-referred to as “protocol women”, who experienced some clerical obligations but have been largely on connect with to have sexual intercourse with the president.
The BBC could not validate the allegation, but a previous Gambian formal, who agreed to talk on situation of anonymity, explained he was informed of “inappropriate things” happening at the presidency: “Protocol personnel had been primarily women and they had been hired to fulfill the president’s fantasies.”
He remembered viewing Ms Jallow at Point out Property, occasionally at “odd hours”.
Mr Jammeh, pictured in this article with his spouse Zeinab, gained four elections just before his shock defeat in 2016
She described how she was sexually assaulted by the president at his summertime house, Kanilai, in 2013 when she was 22: “One night, a presidential aide identified as me and instructed me to arrive with her to the president’s private apartment. He questioned me to undress.
“He explained to me that I was young and needed defense so he desired to implement religious h2o on me.”
In an encounter the subsequent working day, she started crying as Mr Jammeh commenced to touch her physique. He turned angry and despatched her absent.
She states she was afterwards sacked and a promised scholarship cancelled.
TRRC Govt Secretary Baba Jallow has advised the BBC that the commission, launched eight months back, will concentration on sexual violence in September.
“We are mindful of allegations involving Jammeh but we have not read victims on the report but. Investigations have now started off but at this phase we cannot say who is concerned and how quite a few victims there are,” he reported.
Ms Jallow needs to build an ambiance the place gals will feel safer to converse about rape and sexual assault: “It truly is a step-by-phase issue and the 1st element is to acknowledge it happened.
“When several other females communicate up and it turns into safer and safer,” she told the BBC.
President Barrow has claimed he will await the report of the TRRC prior to thinking of whether or not to pursue Mr Jammeh’s extradition from Equatorial Guinea.
The TRRC’s mission:
– To set up a record of abuses dedicated through Mr Jammeh’s 22-calendar year rule when it is alleged there had been arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances and torture towards critics
– Its 11 unbiased commissioners can grant reparations to victims
– Backed by the UN and funded by worldwide donors, it commenced listening to testimonies in November 2018
– Its motto is “In no way once again”