Former Gambian leader sued over fraudulent AIDS cure

Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh at a conference in 2013.

(CNN)Three survivors of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's HIV/AIDS "cure" have sued the former leader in a lawsuit filed Thursday in the nation's high court.

The plaintiffs are seeking financial damages for harm suffered and a declaration from the high court that their human rights were violated, the advocacy group AIDS-Free World said.
All three victims underwent a treatment program administered by the government that Jammeh claimed was a cure for HIV/AIDS. Jammeh announced he had discovered a cure for the disease in 2007 in front of a group of foreign diplomats, telling them the treatment was revealed to him by his ancestors in a dream.
"My experience in the presidential treatment program was a horror," Fatou Jatta, a plaintiff in the case, said in the AIDS-Free World statement. "I could have lost my life."
    Jammeh, a former army colonel with no medical training, claimed a certain mixture of herbs and spices would cure the disease that has plagued Africa for decades. The murky brown concoction was taken daily and lathered on the skin, often causing violent illnesses, according to AIDS-Free World. Jammeh would also pray over patients as the mixture was administered in government facilities.