In a 14,000-page report submitted to President Barrow, nearly 400 victims of torture, killing and rape were detailed.
A long-awaited report on allegations of abuse during the 22-year rule of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh recommended that the government institute criminal charges against the perpetrators.
For a long time, human rights organizations have been pushing for the prosecution of a series of alleged crimes committed by Jame during his tenure, such as the use of death squads and rape, which ended in 2017.
The 14,000-page document was handed over to President Adamabaro by the Truth, Reconciliation and Compensation Commission (TRRC) on Thursday. Nine days before the presidential election, Jameh in exile urged his supporters to vote for the opposition coalition.
TRRC said in a statement: “To forgive and forget violations and abuses with impunity… not only would undermine the reconciliation, but it would also constitute a large-scale and shocking cover-up of the crimes committed.”
The team’s findings came after more than two years of hearings on the crimes of Jame’s time. Nearly 400 eyewitnesses provided chilling evidence concerning state-sanctioned torture, death squads, rape and “witch hunts”. These evidences are usually in the hands of the “brugners”, also known as Jame’s death squads.
“I assure (victims and their families) that my government will ensure that justice is done,” Barrow said in a statement, “but I urge them to be patient and let the legal process go its way.”
According to Reuters, Lieutenant Malick Jatta, who is close to Jameh, said that the former president paid more than $1,000 per person to members of his security service who killed the newspaper in 2004. Editor Deyda Hydara (Deyda Hydara). Sheriff Omar Jallo told the committee that in 2005, Jame ordered the killing of 59 unarmed immigrants who believed that these immigrants had come to overthrow him. Fatou Jallow, the winner of the 2014 beauty pageant, testified that Jammeh raped her when she was 19 years old.
Jame, who fled to Equatorial Guinea after refusing to accept his defeat to Barrow in the 2016 general election, has previously denied allegations of wrongdoing.
Nicolas Haque of Al Jazeera said: “Human rights lawyers want to see Yahya Jamme, now free and exiled in Equatorial Guinea, stand trial for the crimes committed under his rule.” Gambia.
“Compared with Jame’s time, people have more freedom to express themselves, but there is a feeling that people now want to go further, not just express their dissatisfaction-they want to see the rule of law be promulgated and justice gained. Stretch out.”
At the press conference, TRRC President Lamin Sise declined to comment on who should be the specific target of the prosecution. Barrow or his successor will have six months to decide how to respond to this report. It can form the basis for criminal proceedings against Jame and others.
Even if Jame is found guilty, he may not be punished. According to Gambian law, the former head of state cannot be prosecuted unless the Parliament approves the proceedings with a two-thirds majority.
Human rights organizations eagerly waiting for the report welcomed the news that TRRC had urged prosecution.
Reed Brody, a human rights lawyer who worked with the victims of Jamme’s era, said in a statement, “There is no doubt that Yahya Jamme is at the top of the list of former officials that he recommends to prosecute.”
Amnesty International also stated in a statement that the Gambia must bring charges against offenders to ensure that “state-supported human rights violations do not repeat themselves.”
Although Jammeh faces numerous accusations of abuse, the 56-year-old still has a considerable following in the Gambia. Many supporters are pushing him to return from exile.
His influence has always been a key issue on the eve of the presidential election on December 4-this is the first time since Jameh left.
Jame spoke at a remote election rally this month, saying that Barrow “rigged” the 2016 election.
As far as Barrow is concerned, he sought an alliance with Jame’s APRC party in September, a move that some people see as an election strategy.
Human rights activists condemned the alliance, which also raised concerns that it might lead to Jamme’s return. But Jame then denied the election agreement, saying that it was made without his knowledge, and his supporters formed a rival party.