HRW concerns with local outreach over Bai Lowe's indictment

May 6, 2022, 11:10 AM | Article By: Ali Jaw

The Human Rights Watch has raised concern over little outreach to Gambian communities regarding the trial of Bai Lowe, an alleged member of Jammeh's former hit squad, popularly known as the ‘Junglers’, currently facing trial in Germany for alleged serious crimes under international law.

"This week, the trial of Gambian citizen Bai L., accused of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the “death squad” created by former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, opened in a court in the German city of Celle."

"While this trial is important for the cause of justice, there has been little outreach to Gambian communities about the trial, and limited translation to Wolof, the language most widely spoken by Gambians,” the Human Rights Watch wrote.

The accused has been implicated in 3 ‘jungler’ attacks that were carried out, in particular the defendant has been alleged to have participated in the gruesome murder of then Journalist Deyda Hydara, Haruna Jammeh and Dawda Nyassi, and in the attempted assassination of Lawyer Ousman Sillah, who was considered an obstacle to Jammeh by defending some of those that were targets of Jammeh's brutality.

The TRRC has also involved Bai Lowe in the murder of 59 West African Migrants in 2005.

The government of The Gambia has revealed that it is working closely with German authorities in evidence gathering and provision of information relevant to the alleged offences, but fails to give detailed disclosure concerning the supposed collaboration.

This trial marks the first prosecution concerning rights violations committed during the Jammeh regime in The Gambia.

The trial is based on universal jurisdiction exercised by Germany, which entails that people can be indicted and prosecuted for serious crimes no matter where they have been committed.

Such has been seen as in the case of Michael Correa, another alleged member of the Junglers, who was also charged in the U.S. in June 2020 for the torture of people after a failed purported coup in 2006.

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