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Former Gambian Interior Minister Seeks Swiss Asylum


Former Gambian Interior Minister Seeks Swiss Asylum

Former interior minister Ousman Sonko has been staying in an asylum centre in Bern since November, police chief Hans-Juerg Kaeser said.

A top member of the repressive Gambian regime under ousted president Yahya Jammeh has requested refugee protection in Switzerland, Bern’s police chief confirmed Wednesday.

Sonko was a key figure of Jammeh’s repressive rule, and he ordered the detention and torture of government critics, Gambian opposition politician Alhasana Jobarteh and human rights lawyer Yankuba Darboe told Swiss public broadcaster SRF.

Sonko apparently fell out with Jammeh already before the president was voted out of office in early December.

Jammeh, who ruled the small West African nation for 22 years with an iron fist, had refused to step down.

He finally left for Equatorial Guinea on Saturday, after weeks of pressure from regional leaders.

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