Banjul, The Gambia (July 18, 2017)
Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations has been made aware of a leaked tape, between one of the Special prosecutors, Mr Sheriff Tambadou and the wife of Yankuba Badgie, former NIA director and now one of the defendants (NIA 9) against the Solo Sandeng case. We find this reprehensible that a man of Mr Tambadou’s caliber will make such a gaffe. We are asking the government to recuse him from this case as we do not have the confidence that he will represent the victims in an effective manner. The government should without delay, assign a new credible prosecutor who will have the best interest of representing the government and victims to keep the case moving forward. Yankuba Badgie’s wife has alleged that, only the Sandeng family has not forgiven their perpetrators and the rest of the victims has; this is a bold-faced false statement. Most of the victims have not even started court proceedings yet or even know the truth behind what happened to their loved ones to even start discussions on forgiveness.
We are also asking the government to investigate the reasons why Mr Tambadou, an experienced lawyer, will reach out to Ms. Ndura on such an important case?
We the victims are hoping that the government will take these cases very seriously. Getting justice for all victims should be top priority of the Barrow government. Without justice, there will be no peace or reconciliation! We want to put it on the record that, President Barrow has not met with the victims yet, even after multiple efforts from the Center to his office and we continue to encourage him to do so as we believe the victims should be in the forefront of any discussions that involves Truth Justice and Reconciliation committee.
We are gravely concerned about how the TRC is described on the tape as merely a covert operation which will end up freeing the perpetrators via a blanket amnesty which will be issued by President Barrow, once they are sentenced. We hope this is not true as this will falter any confidence we have on the TRC. We are asking the government to request for international assistance. This will allow them to have the proper capacity and infrastructure to effectively investigate and try these cases and once tried and justice is served, then on a case by case, reconciliation will be reviewed for those that deserves or qualify for it.
The Center wish to thank the government for siding with the victims and most Gambians in denying a permit to the AFPRC Junta in their plans to celebrate July 22, 1994 Coup d’etat. Allowing such a celebration will be a mockery to the victims and Gambia in general as most victims still do not even know where the remains of their love ones are? We are urging the government and NAM’s to take legal measures to make the celebration of this day as well as any other that tends to be a mockery of the Gambian people suffering under the prior government, as illegal.
Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violation’s main priority is to get truth, then justice. Reconciliation can only begin to happen if perpetrators believe they have done something wrong and are remorseful as well as being on a track to rehabilitation so that such events will never be repeated in The Gambia.
Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violation
Gambia – Aminatta Corea – 220 341 – 4496, Ayesha Jammeh – 220 782 – 4013
US – Olay Ceesay Jabbi – (682) 472 – 2090, Maila Touray – (401) 301 – 3060