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Gambia human rights victims call for urgent justice

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Several victims have gathered at the Gambia’s Supreme Court gate on Tuesday to call on government to speed up in serving justice to them or to their relatives who were tortured, disappeared or killed during the 22-year rule of former president Yahya Jammeh.

The vigil was organized by the Gambia Center for Human Rights Violations to commemorate the loss of those forcefully disappeared and killed during the dictatorship.

Mammie Ceesay, whose son was confirmed dead last year after he went missing since 2013, said she has always been traumatized.

“We are out here to pressure the government to deliver justice for the victims and their families. We want justice. I still don’t know where my son is but I believed that he has been killed,” she said.

“The government says, they are setting up TRRC and we will have to wait for that because everything has a way. We will listen to them and see what is going to happen but we will not let it go,” she said.

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Victims had conducted a procession along the streets of Banjul chanting “we want justice, we need it now” and they were guided by the police.

Alagie Jaja Nyass was another victim of the previous government. He was a member of the Gambia Armed Forces before leaving for United Kingdom fifteen years ago. He arrived in the country among other military officers on a coup mission but was gunned down in a failed attempt which occurred in Banjul on the night of December 30, 2014.

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His cousin Mamoudou Njie, said his body was exhumed last year. “The body was exhumed and I was there present. When they exhumed the bodies, the police told us that they will be doing their normal procedures after which they will inform us. One year now, we didn’t hear anything from them,” he said.

Njie calls on government to give back the corpses of their relatives in order for them to do decent burials which is in line with religious dictates.

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“The government’s move towards justice delivery is very slow definitely. They should be quick in what they are doing,” he said

Speaking for the Gambia government at the scene, Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow, executive secretary to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) said they will make sure justice is done for the victims.

“I don’t know whether everyone will get the type of justice they are thinking because I don’t know what they are thinking but we will manage the process to make sure everything goes well,” he said.

He added that they are setting up the commission as they are recruiting staff for the secretariat. Enditem

From: News Ghana

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