Khady Bassène is a 62-year-old woman. Her husband, Jean Diandy, was arrested by soldiers in 1999 and no one has seen him since. She is fighting for the truth about what happened to him, and is still awaiting financial reparation for his disappearance.
Khady Bassène lives in Casamance, a region in the south of Senegal. Jean Diandy was arrested by soldiers on 4 August 1999, because he was suspected of belonging to an armed opposition movement in Casamance calling for the region’s independence.
Khady Bassène was not with her husband when he was arrested, but another man who was arrested at the same time told her that they were taken from Jean Diandy and Khady Bassène’s home by military vehicle to a detention centre in the region. Shortly afterwards, the other man was released without any explanation but Jean Diandy remained in detention.
Khady Bassène went looking for her husband, but was not given any information about where he was. On 31 August 1999, she filed a complaint for his illegal arrest and detention. The Senegalese justice system initiated an inquiry and the regional investigating judge heard a statement from the main witness to the arrest. The case was dismissed by the court on 7 August 2000. Unfortunately, Khady Bassène was not informed of this decision, so she was deprived of the right to appeal against it.
Khady Bassène has said to Amnesty International: “People have criticized me for filing a complaint against the military. Many people are afraid. I said no; I filed a complaint to find out where my husband is.”
In 2005, Khady Bassène was given a death certificate for her husband, but the date on it was March 1999, four months before he even disappeared.
Khady Bassène is now in poor health and is too weak to work. At the moment she lives rent-free in the house of a distant relative but they have said that they cannot live there much longer. She has nowhere else to go. She wants to receive financial reparation for her husband’s disappearance so she can be financially independent.
Sign a petition for the Minister of Justice for Senegal:
- Calling for an investigation into the death of Jean Diandy to be re-opened and the suspected perpetrators to be brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards.
- Calling for Khady Bassène to be allowed to seek reparation for the enforced disappearance of her husband, including financial compensation.