Gambia: Jammeh Rape Victim Blames Institutional Failure

Ms. Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow, who recently accused the former president, Yahya Jammeh of rape, has said that lack of space and the climate of fear in the country then, discouraged her to open up and narrate their stories to investigators.

The 23-year-old was speaking on Friday during a press conference held at a local hotel in Kotu.

She explained further that police facilities discouraged victims of sexual violence to narrate their stories as the environment then was not conducive, safe and supportive.

'Toufah' Jallow as she is fondly called made international headlines recently, when she accused the former President Jammeh of rape.

She has being hailed for coming out boldly to narrate her story, as opposed to the culture of silent then surrounding rape cases especially involving the former Gambian dictator.

"Police stations are built on an all-in-one architectural design with the front desk facing the main entrance. The building also accommodates offices and cells for lawbreakers. Statements are often taken under the watch of detained law breakers," she said.

Ms. Jallow thus called on other rape victims especially those involving the former Gambian leader to come forward and tell their side of the story, for Gambians to know the kind of leader they were having.

Reed Brody, a senior counsel at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said Jammeh treated the women of The Gambia like his 'personal property'.

He was quick to add that they were not his property.

"Rape is a crime and Yahya Jammeh is not above the law," he added.

Jammeh, who ruled the Gambia for 22 years, is been widely accused of right violations during his regime, which includes, murder, forced disappearance, torture and now the recent rape episode.

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