Right violators under Yahya Jammeh can be prosecuted under int’l law

Friday, July 27, 2018

Human right violators and abusers during the regime of Yahya Jammeh could be prosecuted locally by domestic courts or in accordance with the application of universal jurisdiction to see to it that ‘‘justice truly prevails’’, according to European Human Rights institutions.

Justice, they believe should not only be done, but should ‘’manifestly and undoubtedly’’ be seen to be done and that the perpetrators will not be allowed a ‘‘safe haven’’ anywhere in the world.

Nevertheless, The Point separately learnt that it is the responsibility of the government of President Barrow, to reveal the names, whereabouts and nature of the repression and cruelty conducted during the 22 years of Jammeh’s rule so that justice be served.

 Some of the cases of grave incidents highlighted by the European Right groups include genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions conducted.

 In addition, the institutions also urgently urged the European Union (EU) to adopt necessary laws including a specialised ‘‘war crime unit’’ in order to prosecute human rights violators worldwide.

 They also stressed the importance of halting or reducing the existence of safe havens for violator as several architects of such crimes are currently enjoying impunity.

 Consequently, the court of Senegal was also commended for prosecuting the former Chadian President, Hissène Habré, for crimes committed. The indictment was described as a landmark case.

 Implementing similar proposals, in its various status application forms including Naturalisation, several EU countries demanded applicants to answer right violation questions.

On its part, the United Kingdom (U.K.) has been commended for its positive endeavour and had already pledged that it is determine not become refuge for right violators and war crime criminals.

For example, in order to apply for Naturalisation in the U.K., applicants are required to fill the ‘‘Form AN’’.  It includes good character requirement to give certain information to help the Home Office to decide whether you are of good charter.

In addition, personal history (criminal convictions, war crimes, etc.) also ask about any criminal convictions, any civil judgments or civil penalties made against the applicant.

This correspondent also understands that more than two dozen people in the U.K. who are suspected of involvement in genocide, torture or other serious crimes while living abroad may face charges or possible deportation.

As results, some of the most important right groups such as the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and REDRESS also issued a statement demanding action against suspects.

 However, the right institutions equally acknowledged that it required financial and political support for their demands to materialise.

 Despite the shortcomings, the EU also recognises that national courts are investigating and prosecuting grave human rights violations committed abroad.

Currently investigators are equally facing serious challenges which are sometimes complex in verifying these crimes. 

Author: Alhajie Mbye, UK