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The Gambia Ex-interior minister seeks Swiss asylum

Ex-Interior Minister Ousman Sonko has been staying in an asylum centre in Bern since November, police chief Hans-Juerg Kaeser said.

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Gambian President Adama Barrow was sworn in as the new head of state on January 19, 2017 at his country's embassy in neighbouring Senegal play

Gambian President Adama Barrow was sworn in as the new head of state on January 19, 2017 at his country's embassy in neighbouring Senegal

(AFP/File)

A top member of the repressive Gambian regime under ousted President Yahya Jammeh has requested refugee protection in Switzerland, Bern’s Police Chief confirmed on Wednesday.

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

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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