Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tortured Gambian accused of being gay appears to need urgent medical attention

Alieu Sarr, a tortured victim
Morr Sowe
One of the three young Gambians arrested last year and accused of being gay were brought before High Court judge Abi in the Gambian capital.

The three are Alieu Sarr, Momar Sowe and Momodou Lamin Bittaye, each facing charges of "engaging in homosexual acts in the country and diverse places."

Alieu Sarr who was reported to have been tortured and then removed from the torture chamber and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul with wounds consistent with someone who's been suffering from internal bleeding, is among the three brought before a judge,

A source who saw Alieu Sarr being taken court said that he "looked weak and appeared to be walking with great difficulty."The source further opined that he thinks "Alieu needs urgent medical attention or else risks dying like many torture victims before him."  Yhe same source was unable to say anything definitive about the state of the others except to say they were "not looking good."

Meanwhile, the three face charges on alleged "unnatural acts" acts committed as far back as 2002 well before the "aggravated homosexuality law became law in the Gambia in October 2014 which led Jeffery Smith of the Washington-based Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to pose the question of which law will the three accused be charged.

Speaking on FatuRadio which is an online radio station run by Fatou Camara, an Atlanta-based activist,  Mr. Smith suggested that the charges appeared to have been made up and promised that the Center will continue to monitor The Gambia.

While these three were being brought before a a judge, the question still remains about the whereabouts of the numerous other Gambian youth who were arrested in a massive round up last year.