A grieving Gambian mother whose daughter was shot dead in Madison, Wisconsin, was refused visa by the US Embassy in the Banjul to attend her only child’s funeral and the jailing of her killer.
Fatoumata Binta Jallow has been left to mourn her daughter alone in the Gambia and may never see her grave thousands of miles away in Madison.
Her daughter, Fatoumatta Jallow, 23, was fatally shot while helping care for three residents in a home for disabled people on 21st December 2016 by Ali Hassan, 26, of Fitchburg.
Hassan is serving a 60-year prison term after he was found guilty of homicide by intoxicated use of a firearm, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment and attempted arson.
“Fatoumata Binta Jallow hasn’t been able to come to Wisconsin to see her daughter laid to rest, Samba Baldeh,” a Madison City Council member and the cousin of Fatoumatta Jallow told the Wisconsin State Journal.
“She didn’t get to come here to pay her respects to her daughter.”
The reason that was given, Baldeh said, was that Fatoumata Binta Jallow, who lives in the city of Serekunda, Gambia, where she works as a cleaner at a hospital, hadn’t provided enough proof that she would return to Gambia after her visit to the U.S. was supposed to end.
Sankulay Jallow, who has lived in Madison for about 20 years and became a citizen about 13 years ago, said his former wife told him that she has no intention to come to the US to stay.
“It’s really devastating to her,” Sankulay Jallow said. “She doesn’t sleep at night. I talk to her almost every day.”
The family is Muslim, Baldeh said, and according to tradition, for Fatoumatta Jallow’s mother to have peace she needs to see where her daughter is laid to rest.
Fatoumata Binta Jallow also would have liked to have attended the trial and provide testimony during the sentencing of her daughter’s killer.
“It’s important that she be able to say what (her daughter) wanted to be in life and what her daughter was in life,” Sankulay Jallow said. “But also, for justice to be really done.
“When I think about it, it’s hurting me a lot,” he said. “Plus, my daughter is gone.”
The family has tried to appeal to the office of US Senator Tammy Baldwin for help and has hired a lawyer.
But despite letters to the embassy from the family’s lawyer and the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, the embassy in Banjul refused to grant Fatoumata Binta Jallow a visitor’s visa after interviewing her.
“They didn’t tell us a reason,” Sankulay Jallow said, frustrated.
Courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal