By Halimatou Ceesay
Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations under Yahya Jammeh’s Regime has once again renewed call for justice as they prepare for vigil on Tuesday 17th April, 2018 at the Supreme Court of the Gambia in Banjul.
One of the victims who is Jammeh’s niece Aisha Jammeh was speaking to this reporter in an interview recently with regards to their disappointment in the way the process to justice is been handled by the Government of the day whilst recalling their pains and suffering.
Aisha Jammeh the daughter of Haruna Jammeh who went missing in 2005 and confirmed death in 2013, said Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights violations was formed by the victims of ex-president Yahya Jammeh.
She said the center started sometime last year after the political impasse and they started with seven families of victims that came together and set it up. She said when they started they use to held their meeting at a local restaurant in Bijilo. She said they later expand the membership across the country for every victim of human rights violation during Jammeh’s regime to come together and forward their pains, suffering and as well seek justice in the process.
Aisha added that her father Haruna Jammeh was arrested in 2005 when she (Aisha) was 14years old. She said they received a call and were told of his arrest but they did not know why their father was arrested. She said before his father was arrested, he call her mother and explained to her that he (his father) has a problem with the former president Jammeh and that her father and the Jammeh are related and her father was serving as the manager of Kanilai Farms under Jammeh at the time of his arrest.
She further stated after her father went missing they searched for him everywhere but people later told them that he was not at Mile 2 central prison. She said so that was how she and her mother and the rest of the family were living in those days and depending on every little information they could get from their own sources.
She said even though she was a child at the time, she has the passion and the determination to find out what happen to her father so she will always asked those people who still worked in the system, and know her father. She said in 2013, she was told that one of the jungulars will be interviewed on Fatu Radio and will be asked about the whereabouts of those missing including her father. She said the jungular then confirmed that her father was killed and her aunt Masireh Jammeh who went in searched of her father was also killed.
She said this is why she is committed to fight and get justice for not only herself but for other victims as well. She said the Tuesday vigil will be held at the Supreme Court in Banjul and they are calling on all victims to come and joined them so that together they can express their pain and suffering at the loss of their loved ones and those who were directly victimized by Jammeh to the Adama Barrow Government for justice to prevail.
“It is very painful for your loved ones body to be exhumed and still you cannot have access to the corpse or don’t even know where it is or what happened to it. I still do not have a closure because I did not know where my father is buried, and the same apply to for others and they are traumatized with that situation.”
Miss Jammeh however called on the Government to break the communication barrier on matters concerning victims and communicate with either the victims or through the center on the progress made so far on the cases at hand. She said the Ministry of interior should attached police officer to each of the families to follow-up their cases since Jungulars are seen confessing these crimes in the media. She said they don’t know what happened to the cases the police have been working on because they do not communicate to the victims concerns.
Sanna Camara a Gambian Journalist who was in exile and returned to the country after the presidential polls also working with the Gambia Center for victims of Human Rights Violations said the victims will embark on a vigil on Tuesday 17th April, 2018 because since the change of Government, the Government of Adama Barrow has promised the victims that they will do everything possible for them to get the justice they seek.
He said in that process the Government of Adama Barrow has started to exhume some bodies some time ago from locations is Tanji, Foni and other parts of the Gambia. He said the process then came to a halt and the Government did not say anything to the victims or communicate to the center.
He added that the vigil is to once again be heard and remind the Government that the victims and their families want a speedy process so that their wounds can be healed and what they need be provided for them so that they can move on. He said because if one sits for many years and your father or relative was killed and you have no clue as to where the body is buried or the exhumed bodies cannot be discharged to their families for proper burial is going to be very painful for one to live with that