Gambian HIV Survivors Sue Former Dictator Over Treatment Program

(Bloomberg) -- Three survivors of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s herbal treatment program for HIV filed a suit against the deposed dictator at the country’s High Court.

The claimants are seeking financial damages for harm suffered and a declaration that their human rights were violated for undergoing the treatment regimen, U.S.-based charity Aids-Free World said in a statement on its website. Jammeh, who ruled the West African nation from 1994 to 2017, claimed that he could cure HIV with the remedy. Sufferers were ordered to cease taking antiretroviral drugs and resided in a state facility under surveillance, according to the statement.

Read more: Dictator’s legacy looms large in Africa’s smallest nation

“The claimants have suffered enough,” said Combeh Gaye, an attorney who is representing the applicants. “We are confident that the court will find that Jammeh has caused them undue harm and will reward them appropriately.”

The three claimants are Lamin Ceesay, Fatou Jatta and Ousman Sowe, according to the statement. Jammeh agreed to step down last year as West African leaders threatened military intervention after the former leader clung to power despite losing elections late 2016.

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