Victims of Yaya Jammeh’s Dictatorship in The Gambia Demand Justice
The victims of human rights abuses under the rule of former president Yaya Jammeh have Saturday taken to the streets of Westfield in the Kanfing Municipality, to protest and demand justice for violent repression that were meted on them and their families.
This protest came barely a week after Jammeh’s supporters took to the streets to demand for his return to the country, a move that didn’t go down well with the victims and they expressed dissatisfaction over the police decision to issue a permit to APRC party loyalists to protest and demand for the return of their exiled leader.
“We have suffered a lot in the hands of Jammeh’s forces, “said Mamour Mbenga, a journalist who was detained and tortured by Jammeh’s notorious national intelligence for covering the 10th April 2000 student demonstration that saw the massacre of 14 students by Gambian armed security men. “My recording gadgets were confiscated from me and I was seriously beaten. Those beatings have left serious body pain in me.”
Madi Jorbateh, a human rights activist challenged The Gambian Government to swiftly bring Jammeh and his accomplishes to justice. “The Government should prioritize the needs of the victims, “he told The Chronicle. Every Gambian is a victim of Jammeh’s brutal rule and we should all stand up now and demand for justice that Jammeh must face the full force of the law.”
Yaya Jammeh, now in exile in Equatorial Guinea, is allegedly involved in many grave crimes that includes ordering the killing and torture of political opponents, the murder of 56 West African migrants, and “witch hunts” in which hundreds of women were arbitrarily detained. Jammeh also allegedly participated in the rape and sexual assault of women brought to him.
“Many hundreds of people who suffered grievous abuses during Jammeh’s rule are still waiting to receive justice for what happened to them,” said Baboucarr Njie of The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations. “There are massive evidences against Jammeh, so there’s no way that he shouldn’t be brought to justice. We will continue working with relevant partners to facilitate justice for victims.”
The procession climaxed at the IEC junction at Westfield where the government’s spokesperson, Ebrima G. Sankareh received the petition on behalf of the president.