At least seven people, including two torture victims, have traveled to Switzerland to testify against an ex-righthand man of Gambia’s defeated autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.
Former Gambian Minister of Interior, Ousman Sonko was arrested by Swiss authorities on allegations of human rights abuses after fleeing the West African nation.
Sonko fled the Gambia last year ahead of the presidential elections after falling out of favor with Jammeh.
He had served as police chief and commander of Jammeh’s elite presidential guard before becoming the despotic ruler’s longest serving security minister.
Gambian authorities have also indicted Sonko on torture and murder charges. He is implicated in the killing of suspected coup plotters, 44 Ghanaians, and unarmed student protesters.
Swiss authorities have held Sonko in pre-trial detention since January whiles investigations into his alleged crimes continue by the Attorney General.
The Jammeh regime frequently committed serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, killing, and torture against those who voiced opposition to his regime.
The repression and abuses created a climate of fear within Gambia, generating increased attention from the international community.