She walked herself into the Mile II prisons but coming out of ‘Africa’s hell on earth,’ Adama Gindeh had to be helped. She was held by her mother and a cousin and leaped out of one of the world’s most inhumane prisons. Her right leg was paralyzed.
Gindeh would not say what happened to her but torture is prevalent in Gambian prisons. And for the reason why she was sent to prison, Gindeh was at risk of being maltreated.
“They accuse me of killing my child but I did not do it. I never did anything like that and they brought me here,” she said.
Her jailers said she aborted her baby, but her family said it was a miscarriage.
Abortion is illegal in The Gambia. A colonial law passed in 1934 makes abortion an offense in all cases, however,it allows abortion to be performed to save the life of the pregnant woman.
A person who unlawfully performs an abortion is subject to 14 years imprisonment and if a woman conducts her own abortion or consents to it being performed is subject to seven years imprisonment.
Adama Gindeh’s mother Sirreh Bojang said her daughter is innocent.
“She has three children who are with me at home. It makes no sense for her to abort the fourth one. She did not do it,” she said.
The public frowns upon those that are said to have aborted a baby. Going to prison for that could subject one to torture and be chained ‘tightly’ to the ground or standing up for weeks, says a former inmate.
Although a few people are speaking out, many are still afraid to speak of inhumane prison conditions and the torture meted on them.
Gindeh is among twelve women pardoned by Gambia’s President Adama Barrow on Saturday in commemoration of country’s 52nd independence anniversary.
Prison conditions are poor with overcrowded, damp, and poorly ventilated cells and many inmates died because of poor sanitation and expired food.