Gambia: Search for missing detainees intensifies

Gambia: Search for missing detainees intensifies

The police have intensified the search for dozens of missing people who were arbitrarily arrested and detained by the former regime and remain missing after authorities in the West African nation uncovered a secret burial site.

The country’s homeland security secretary, Mai Ahmad Fatty, announced investigations into extrajudicial killings have taken priority as the unmarked grave of opposition activist Ebrima Solo Sandeng was discovered and remains exhumed.

A panel has been initiated by Mr. Fatty to work on all leads around the country, and fourteen jugulars, a special paramilitary squad that committed human rights abuses for Jammeh are under custody.

At least nine former intelligence officers have been charged with the murder of Sandeng, including former NIA Director Yankuba Badjie.

Two American citizens, who are natives remain missing. Security sources say Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe were summarily executed by Jammeh on suspicion that they were in the impoverished nation to overthrow him.

The victory of opposition candidate Adama Barrow in the December 2016 presidential election brought hope for improved respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Barrow defeated incumbent Yahya Jammeh, who had held power since a 1994 coup, and whose government had a long track record of using arbitrary arrests, threats, enforced disappearance, and torture to silence opposition voices.

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