People tear a poster of former Gambian president Yaya Jammeh in Broussbi, Gambia, December 4, 2016. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Gambia’s govt urged to take prosecution of Jammeh’s henchmen seriously

A Union of victims of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh is calling on the country’s new President Adama Barrow to take seriously the prosecution of those that have committed human rights violations.

“We the victims are hoping that the government will take these cases very seriously. Getting justice for all victims should be a top priority of the Barrow government,” said the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations.

The call came after a special prosecutor revealed that a former intelligence chief, who allegedly oversaw the torture-death of an opposition activist has been offered a plea deal.

The group has called for a probe into the conduct of Special Prosecutor Sheriff Tambadou, who rescued himself to main the integrity of the case against Yankuba Badjie and eight others.

Human Rights Watch encouraged the new government of President Adama Barrow to develop a strategy detailing how it intends to hold to account those implicated in the arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances that were the hallmark of Jammeh’s rule.

Attorney General Aboubacarr Ba Tambadou had criticized the police for the arrest of nine former intelligence officials for the alleged murder of opposition activist Solo Sandeng in April 2016.

Attorney General Tambadou stated that it occurred without his knowledge and that “criminal investigations must never be rushed.”

The prosecution has since asked for more time to collect evidence in the case, while the accused remain in custody. Fair trials are crucial for victims and their families and for building respect for the rule of law in the country.

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