Human Rights News Women & Children's Affairs

Former Gambian Health Minister accused of sexual harrassment

A former Minister of Health in The Gambia has been accused of sexual harassment by a 21-year-old Gambian lady (name withheld), LamToro News (LTN) has learnt. The said doctor is reportedly residing at Cape Point in Bakau. Although he has his own private clinic at Cape Point in Bakau but he is also serving as the Director of Medical Services at Bafrow Medical Center in Serrekunda as well, LTN was informed.

The incident happened on 21st December 2023 when the victim escorted her sister (name withheld too) to the Doctor‘s private Clinic at Cape Point in Bakau for medical check-up.

The victim claimed that the said Doctor sexually harassed her by allegedly touching her breasts and buttocks without her consent at the examination room of his Clinic while she and her sister were going out after consultation with the doctor.

She lodged a complaint at the Bakau Police Station immediately and the said Doctor was called for questioning that very evening at the police station.

An insider at the Bakau Police Station told LTN that the Doctor wrote in his statement that he hugged the girl and said to her “you are beautiful“. The police insider added: “The victim claimed that as they were going out, the Doctor held her hand and closed the door, then touched her breasts and buttocks and said to her that she is beautiful. She said the Doctor also said to her to not to change her beautiful colour. She immediately went out and told her sister and said she was going to report the matter to the police. So she came here.“

However, LamToro News contacted the said Doctor and he said the incident happened three weeks ago but the matter is already settled. He also denied harrassing her and said he only hugged her and said to her that, her sister will be fine and she should not worry. He said it happened when they were going out from the examination room to the Reception area. According to him, the parents of the victim have promised to settle talk to the victim and settle the matter. He told LTN to contact the victim‘s parents and asked if they have not settled the matter. However when he was reminded that the case is not yet settled, he insisted that it was settled and that was why he was granted a self bail.

Both the victim and the suspect were asked to write statements at the police station after which after the Doctor was granted bail. The victim went further to take a lawyer and also engaged the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG).

LTN contacted the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia and they confirmed having knowledge of the alleged incident. The FLAG representative (name withheld) also requested for time to contact the victim and asked if she gives permission for her to talk to the media about the case.

When contacted, the victim‘s father refused to comment and said he cannot talk about the case because it was traumatising for him.

LTN is awaiting for the results of the investigation and will give more updates and full revelations in the coming days as the case progresses.

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