Groups oppose amnesty for Jammeh’s inner circle

Gambia's former president Yahya Jammeh

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh

from MOMODOU DIBBA in Banjul, Gambia
BANJUL, (CAJ News) – GAMBIA’S Parliament has begun debate on a bill to shed light on serious human rights violations committed during the rule of former President Yahya Jammeh.

The debate started on Wednesday (today) amid calls by rights groups for the National Assembly to amend the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission bill to prohibit amnesties for perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape and torture.

The proposed 11-person truth commission will document human rights abuses during Jammeh’s two-decade rule, which ended when he left for exile in January after losing a December 2016 presidential election to Adama Barrow.

The bill permits the commission to grant amnesties to perpetrators who testify truthfully about their role in abuses.

While it precludes amnesties for acts that “form part of a crime against humanity,” it does not rule them out for other serious crimes under international law, much to the concern of rights groups.

“Gambian victims deserve a truth commission that gives them a platform to tell their stories and lays the groundwork for those most responsible for grave crimes to face justice,” said Jim Wormington, regional director at Human Rights Watch.

Justice Minister, Aboubacarr Tambadou, said the government would offer individuals the opportunity of an amnesty to encourage them to come forward and disclose their role in past abuses.

The commission plans to hold public hearings and publish a final report, with the government required to issue a white paper within six months
describing how it will implement the report’s recommendations.

Jammeh, who ruled the West African country with an iron fist from 1996, is now exiled in Equatorial Guinea.

– CAJ News





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Posted by on Dec 14 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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