Gambia: Victim Says His Son Died in His Absence

A victim of the 2009 witch hunting exercise on Wednesday told the Commission his son, who was sick at the time he was captured by witch hunters and soldiers, died while he was held in captivity.

Alieu Marr remarked: " My son (Ebrima Marr) died while I was still in captivity in Kololi at the residence of late Baba Jobe (a former lawmaker). It was painful, but I could not do anything about it. I took it as a decree from Allah."

He added: "My donkey also died while I was in detention. The donkey was sick before I was forcefully taken away by the witch hunters. There was no one to take care of it in my absence, and consequently, it died."

The 62 - year - old farmer was born in Kerr Jagne. He told the Commission two witch-hunters came to his home and found him taking lunch with his two sisters and elder brother. He said the witch hunters under the escort of soldiers and some Green Boys took four of them away.

He said the witch-hunters dug a hole at his compound premises and gave him an object like a human skull to hold.

"They asked me to hold something like a 'skull' and we passed through the village. People were looking at me," he said.

The witness testified he was captured together with Colley Marr - their elder brother, Awa Marr and Isatou Marr - his two sisters.

"At the time of our arrest, Colley Marr was sick and could not walk properly. The witch-hunters helped him to get on board the bus," he said.

He added his two sisters are still suffering from sicknesses. They are still undergoing treatment, he testified.

He said they were forced to drink the concoction which eventually was the beginning of their ill health. According to him, his brother Colley Marr died three days after their release.

He said his elder brother could not walk at the time of their release.

"My elder brother was put on a wheelchair and helped to get on board the bus to return to Barra. He died after three days," the witness remarked.

"All the health problems we encountered started when we drank the concoction," he said.

He said after drinking the concoction, he vomited blood and his chest got swollen. He said he contracted high blood after his encounter with the witch hunters.

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