For 22 years, Gambians lived under the repressive rule of President Yahya Jammeh and change seemed like a distant dream. In this documentary we meet the unsung heroes who risked their lives to defend human rights – an Imam who was abducted and buried alive for trying to prevent a mass execution – the lawyers who risked jail to defend women who were tortured, sexually assaulted and imprisoned for protesting for political change – and a group of young activists that started a global hashtag movement to stop Jammeh from changing the December 2016 election result.
Many people lost their lives standing up to Jammeh’s regime. And those who continued to fight often despaired that their actions would never make a difference, but they never gave up. In January 2017, Jammeh, under threat of military intervention from West African regional forces, finally agreed to exile and the Gambia became a democracy. This story shows how human rights defenders facing abusive regimes across the world can take hope from these stories of courage.
Writer/co-producer: Louise Hunt
Director of Photography/co-producer: Jason Florio (floriophoto.com)
Edit and post-production: Tom Thistlethwaite (tomthistlethwaite.com)
Second camera: Helen Jones-Florio
Music: Jayme Elkins