Monday, October 3

Essa Faal vows to implement full TRRC recommendations if elected

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Mr. Faal, who visited the Victims’ Centre on Monday, said: “I am here to talk about the victims of the country. The victims have suffered greatly at the hand of a terrible dictatorship. One of the biggest atrocities that are happening to our people is Mile Two Central Prison. It’s in a terrible state of dilapidation. Being incarcerated in that place is a human rights violation. To force an individual in the name of punishment to sleep in a toilet is a horrible thing and we are not talking about all the terrible things that happened in the country.”
“Lots of our men are working up and down on the streets and are impotent. Castration was a method of punishment and torture. I refused to mention the number of people that are affected by this act, because I don’t want people to be looking at each other and pointing fingers on each other because it would bring a lot of shame and embarrassment in the community.”
Mr. Faal maintained that it’s the responsibility of every Gambian to do everything possible to ensure justice to the victims.
“If we don’t do that, we will be failing in our responsibility to the victims. Any individual who participates in enforcing or reinforcing the impunity that we now face is betraying the aspiration of the Gambian people,” he posited.
“I have made a personal commitment to make sure that the issue of the victims of our 22 years of dictatorship is a central cause in my campaign. It’s one of the principal reasons why I am even running for the presidency because I have zero confidence that the report of the TRRC will see the light under this government,” he noted, further claiming: “The government has shown us that because they have gone to bed with the party that has committed the atrocities.”
“We say no to impunity and no to injustice and we say no to reconciliation without justice. The perpetrators must face justice. I ask you the victims to take courage. I can assure you that in a government led by Essa Faal, the perpetrators will face justice be it in this country or elsewhere. If we want to ‘maslaha’ the truth and refuse to bring them to justice, well, the notion of maslaha doesn’t exist in international criminal laws.”
“If the current government fails in its responsibility to do what is right by these people, then The Gambian people have the responsibility to hold them accountable because they show us that they are not ready to implement the recommendations of the TRRC and that they are not ready in prosecuting Jammeh.”
The Gambian people, he said, want peace; however, he was quick to add that there can’t be peace and reconciliation with justice.
Sheriff Kijera, the chairman of The Gambia Centre for Victims’ of Human Rights Violation, thanked the former TRRC lead counsel for visiting the centre, saying: “Because of the professional work of the former lead counsel at the TRRC, we are able to get down to the bottom of the truth of the brutal human rights violation that occur during the Yahya Jammeh era.”
Kijera further added: “Before, we were all assuming that some of these violations were committed by foreigners and not Gambians. However, because of the good work of the TRRC, we now know that our own brothers were the ones behind all these atrocities that were committed during the Jammeh era. I want to thank you and your entire legal team including the commissioners and assure you that the victims are very proud of you.”

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