Justice catching up with Yahya Jammeh

Mar 19, 2021, 12:06 PM | Article By: Sanna Camara

The chairperson of the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations said this week that the long arm of justice is catching up with ex-president Yahya Jammeh for crimes he committed while in office.

Mr. Sheriff Kijera described as “good news” the arrest of a third member of the hit squad, saying: “We will get them one by one.”

“The long arm of the law is catching up with them (Jammeh and his accomplices), and it is a signal to all those on the run; the fugitives from justice, that there is no safe haven for any torturer or perpetrator of human rights violations against innocent people,” Kijera said. 

He said the arrest represents “good news” for families of Deyda Hydara, Daba Marenah, Haruna Jammeh and Ousman Sillah, along with those of 59 West African migrants massacred by the junglers in 2005 in The Gambia.

“Germany’s arrest of an alleged ‘jungler’ shows that the long arm of the law is catching up with Yahya Jammeh’s accomplices around the world,” said Reed Brody, senior counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Jammeh’s henchmen in Gambia and even Jammeh himself in Equatorial Guinea may soon be held to account for their alleged international crimes.” 

“To the victims, this is a signal to Yahya Jammeh that the long arm of justice will soon catch up to him. The arrest of Bai Lowe on Tuesday was a good day for victims and international Justice,” Mr. Kijera added. 

Kijera said these arrests on perpetrators outside The Gambia’s jurisdiction are indications that the noose is tightening around all perpetrators, especially the ex-president himself. He said each of the said cases will help throw more light on those who played roles and bear greatest responsibilities for crimes committed under the 22 year dictatorship in The Gambia.

“The international justice is setting good precedents as far as accountability mechanisms are concerned. There are no torture safe havens for any perpetrator anywhere in the world. It is better that you surrender yourselves to the processes of the TRRC before its mandate ends,” he advised.

“Universal jurisdiction cases are an increasingly important part of international efforts to hold those responsible for atrocities accountable, provide justice to victims who have nowhere else to turn, deter future crimes, and help ensure that countries do not become safe havens for human rights abusers,” Reed Brody, popularly called dictator hunter said.

“Those who have committed international crimes need to be brought to justice wherever they may be found,” Brody said.