Fatoumata Sawaneh breaks down as she recalls her father Imam Ousman Sawaneh, in her family’s home in Kanifing.
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Fatoumata Sawaneh tried to hold back tears while talking about her father, one of hundreds of people who disappeared during the 22-year reign of President Yahya Jammeh in this tiny West African country. Imam Ousman Sawaneh was arrested in October 2015, picked up as he led volunteers clearing grass in the local cemetery. His detention, for unknown reasons, bewildered his family. Now, after the president's stunning defeat in last week's election, Fatoumata and others are hoping those who vanished can come home.Jammeh has long been accused by human rights workers of heading a government that tortures opponents and silences dissent. Hundreds of Gambians have been arbitrarily detained for years, often without access to family members or lawyers. For every such high-profile case in Gambia, countless other people remain incommunicado, often for unknown reasons.Many families are using this chance to speak out.
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