Gambia: Rape Survivor Testifies Before TRRC

By Ousman A. Marong

A rape survivor who testified as an protected witness has told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission, TRRC, that she was raped in 2000 at the age of 15 by men who identified themselves as security officers.

She informed the Commission that she went to the Independence Stadium in Bakau, to represent her school, Brikamaba Junior Secondary School in an inter-schools championship.

It could be recalled that the alleged rape of teenager by security officers and the alleged killing of Ebrima Barry by fire officers triggered the the April 10/11 demonstration in 2000 when students sought for justice in solidarity with their colleagues.

The 34-year-old woman, who was in her grade 7th grade in school at the time of the incident said she arrival at the stadium around 6:00 p.m local time on that faithful day.

She stated that she came from buying biscuits at a shop when two men who identified themselves to her as security officers raped her.

“As I was crossing the road from the shop these men held my hand and escorted me behind the stadium at a tight dark place with little or no electricity,” she said.

She added that one of them stripped off and pushed her on the floor and began to force himself on her.

The former junior female athlete said the man forced himself on her on the ground where he put his elbows on her and tore her underwear, whilst the other man ran away.

 She said she went through pain particularly in her private part.

She revealed that when the rapist released her she was profusely bleeding and crying.

She further informed the Commission that upon arrival at the stadium after she was raped, she explained it to her teacher who accompanied her to a police station to report the matter.

She said she couldn’t recall the police station, because that was her first year to come to urban area, Kombo.

“Upon arrival at the police station my statement was taken and I was rushed to the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) now Edward Small Francis Teaching Hospital (ESFTH),” she said, recalling her seven days of hospitalisation.

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