A winner of a Gambian beauty contest has accused former dictator Yahya Jammeh of raping her four years ago, the latest allegation of human rights violations committed by the ex-president now living in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Fatou & # 39; Toufah & # 39; Jallow, now 23, made an announcement for journalists on Tuesday and said she plans to testify later this year for Gambia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigates abuses committed under the Jammeh regime.
The 22-year-old dictator is accused of torturing, imprisoning, and murdering opponents.
The accusations of sexual abuse raised by Jallow and others imply him directly in personally committing violence against Gambians.
Fatou & # 39; Toufah & # 39; Jallow, now 23, claimed that she was drugged and raped four years ago by former dictator Yahya Jammeh
Jallow and other young women interviewed by Human Rights Watch say the president was a sexual predator who forced young women into sexual relationships by promising scholarships and even putting something on the state's payroll.
Jammeh is said to live an exuberant but withdrawn life in exile in Equatorial Guinea, where he is protected against extradition by the dictator in charge of the oil-rich country.
Jallow, who wanted to come out in public, said the president began giving gifts to her and her family after meeting her when she was crowned Queen of the Miss July 22 Pageant in 2014 as an 18-year-old.
Jammeh had a special interest in her, she said. She ordered the utility company to install running water at her mother's house and have his cousin buy the family's expensive furniture.
Although he initially showed an interest in financing her charity project, she said that Jammeh, a married man whom she considered a mentor, asked her for her hand in marriage.
Yahya Jammeh, pictured during his time in power, follows a summit in South America in 2009
After she had refused, he told her that as the winner of the election, she had to attend an event at his official residence, State House, before the holy month of Ramadan.
When she arrived there, she said she was locked up in a room and drugged by the president himself.
& # 39; He said to me: & # 39; No woman has ever rejected me. And who do you think you are? & # 39; & # 39; She said.
& # 39; His face changed, his eyes were so red, different from the previous man. He said: "No woman rejects me. Do you think you can get away with it? & # 39; & # 39;
As she tried to leave, Jallow said the president told her: & # 39; If you do something, I will kill you with my own hands. & # 39;
The president then stunned her, put his genitals in her face and raped her before she darkened, she said.
A few days later she told her family that she went to the market to shop and then fled to neighboring Senegal.
Jammeh has been accused of forcing different women into sex by promising scholarships and even putting something on the state's payroll
Jammeh later lost the 2016 elections to now President Adama Barrow. After initially refusing to accept his defeat, Jammeh collapsed under international pressure, resigned, and fled to Equatorial Guinea.
The new government of The Gambia has estimated that Jammeh and his staff have fled with up to $ 1 billion in funds from the state treasury.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission does not have the authority to prosecute, but will make recommendations to the Prosecutors General for Chambers to take action against a number of cases that can be dealt with with the court. Jammeh for the time being remains unassailable in exile.
& # 39; It will be a major political lifting to get him out of Equatorial Guinea & # 39 ;, said Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch who led the investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse.
Jallow, who later received asylum in Canada, says she is undergoing treatment and hopes that other young women who are victims of Jammeh will come forward.
& # 39; Nobody discusses rape and yes, I'm scared, & # 39; she said. & # 39; I'm scared. But I want the next person behind me to be a little less scared than me. & # 39;
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