Gambia considers amnesty for ‘remorseful’ right violators under Jammeh

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Following the publication of The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRCC) report, The Gambia will consider amnesty for individuals who made full and remorseful disclosure before the commission and were not involved in crimes against humanity.

Such people have 14 days to apply for the amnesty, starting from December 24, the date the TRCC report was made public.

“In line with Section 19(1) of the TRRC Act any adversely mentioned individual who has previously appeared before the Commission and made a full disclosure of his or her involvement in human rights violations and abuses and has expressed remorse is hereby granted a period of 14 days to apply to the Commission for amnesty,” a statement by Dawda Jallow, Gambia’s attorney-general and minister of justice reads.

The statement notes that applications will be reviewed over a six weeks period after which a report would be sent to the president. It further states that ‘where the Commission refuses an application for amnesty it shall give reasons for its refusal in writing to the applicant and any other person who in relation to the offence is a victim.’

The call is a reaction to the TRCC report which recommends the prosecution of Yahya Jammeh, the erstwhile dictator who ruled the country for 22 years.

The TRCC report, which followed over three years of consultations and hearings, found that Mr Jammeh was guilty of high-level extra-judicial killings, attacks on the press and opposition, among other vices. The commission recommended that Mr Jammeh, alongside accomplices, be prosecuted.

READ ALSO: Gambia’s Truth Commission recommends prosecution of Yahya Jammeh, payment to victims

With this call for amnesty, the process for the drafting of a white paper and eventual implementation of the recommendation has begun – but not all will be considered for amnesty.

“In line with Section 19(3) amnesty shall not apply to acts which form part of a crime against humanity,” the statement reads further.

It notes that the applicants will be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The call for amnesty application is part of the process that will lead to the issuance of a white paper on or before May 25, 2022.

In an interview with journalists including PREMIUM TIMES reporters a few days after his re-election in December, Mr Barrow said that the report would go through some processes, lasting about seven months, before a final draft would be adopted.

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