Monday, June 17, 2024

Germany Sentences Former Death Squad Member Bai Lowe to Life for Crimes Against Humanity

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By: Seringe ST Touray

A German court has sentenced a Gambian man, Bai Lowe, to life in prison for his involvement in a death squad that targeted opponents of former dictator Yahya Jammeh.

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Lowe, convicted of crimes against humanity, murder, and attempted murder, served as a driver for the squad known as the Junglers.

According to a statement from federal prosecutors, the Junglers squad carried out illegal killing orders among other things to intimidate the Gambian population and suppress the opposition.” This includes the assassination of AFP journalist Deyda Hydara.

This trial marks the first addressing human rights violations in The Gambia during the Jammeh era through universal jurisdiction. The legal principle allows foreign countries to prosecute such crimes regardless of where they occurred.

Lowe, seeking asylum in Europe since 2012, was detained in Germany in 2021. The evidence against him includes a telephone interview where he described his participation in the attacks. Jammeh, who ruled for 22 years, fled in 2017 after losing an election and is also wanted for prosecution.

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Reed Brody, a lawyer with the International Commission of Jurists who works to seek justice for victims of Yahya Jammeh, expressed that “the long arm of the law has caught up to Bai Lowe in Germany… as it will hopefully soon catch up to Jammeh himself.”

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