The sole known survivor of a massacre of some 50 African migrants in The Gambia in 2005 broke down in tears on Monday as he testified before a truth panel in the country.
The massacre is one of the most notorious abuses which occurred under Yahya Jammeh, who reigned with an iron fist in the tiny West African state for 22 years.
Jammeh fled the country in January 2017 after losing a presidential election to Adama Barrow, a relative unknown.
The Gambia subsequently set up a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to probe Jammeh-era rights violations.
It has heard testimony about torture, rape, death squads and state-sponsored witch hunts, among other alleged abuses, since hearings began in 2019.
But last week, the commission began examining one of the most infamous episodes of Jammeh's rule: the alleged execution of around 50 Europe-bound clandestine migrants who were taken for mercenaries in 2005.
Martin Kyere, testifying to the commission on Monday, described how soldiers "with cutlasses and guns" stripped and beat the migrants when they first captured them.
The Ghanaian national was then held in a cell for about a week, before he and other migrants were bound with wire and driven deep into a forest.
Kyere said the group understood the soldiers intended to kill them. "What’s going through our mind at that time is, God forgive us our sins," he said.
He managed to wriggle free while the vehicle was in transit, however.
"They told me it’s God who wants to set you free so that you tell the world how Yahya Jammeh has killed us," Kyere said, referring to the other migrants.
He then broke down in tears as he explained how the other migrants gave him details of where they lived -- so that he could pass messages to their loved ones -- before leaping from the vehicle and fleeing into the bush.
Human Rights Watch put the number of victims in the massacre at over 50, with about 44 thought to be Ghanaians, as well as other migrants who were Senegalese, Togolese and Ivorian.
Precise details remain unclear, however.
In July 2019, former army members told the TRRC that Jammeh personally ordered the 2005 massacre.
There are numerous calls for the former dictator, who fled to Equatorial Guinea, to return to The Gambia to face trial.
But he retains a significant following in the former British colony of about two million people, and some want his return to active politics.
The TRRC is expected to hold its final hearings this year.