18.2 C
City of Banjul
Friday, December 8, 2023


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1.         Short title 

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2.         Interpretation


3.         Reparations Fund 

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4.         Purpose of the Fund

5.         Sources of money for the Fund

6.         Bank account for the Fund

7.         Payment out of the Fund

8.         Prohibition of use of Fund for non-Fund purposes

9.         Accounts and Audit

10.       Annual Report


11.       Establishment of the Victim Reparations Commission

12.       Composition of the Commission

13.       Appointment of Commissioners

14.       Term of office of Commissioners

15.       Remuneration of Commissioners

16.       Resignation of Commissioners

17.       Removal from office of Commissioners

18.       Immunity of Commissioners

19.       Filling of Vacancies


20.       Objectives of the Commission 

21.       Functions of the Commission

22.       Powers of the Commission

23.       Independence of the Commission

24.       Declaration of Interest by Commissioners

25.       Establishment of Committees

26.       Meetings of the Commission

27.       Rules of procedure

28.       Commission to Publish Guidelines and Forms


29.       Executive Secretary and Deputy

30.       Functions of the Executive Secretary

31.       Other staff of the Commission

32.       Immunity of staff

33.       Staff Regulations 

34.       Annual estimates, accounts and audit

35.       Operational budget of the Commission 


36.       Meaning of Investigation under this Part 

37.       Assistance by Ministry and State Agencies

38.       Power of Commission to request information

39.       Privilege in respect of disclosure of information 


40.       Reparations to be made by Commission

41.       Database of victims

42.       Non-monetary Reparation 

43.       Entitlement to monetary compensation. 

44.       Reparation of deceased Victim

45.       Determination of Compensation amount

46.       Standard of evidence

47.       Compensation to be tax free and non-attachable  48. Double compensation

49.       Reimbursement of Compensation by perpetrator 

50.       Reparation by Government 

51.       Commission to give reasons for decisions 

52.       Appeals 


53.       Commission’s Final report

54.       Dissolution of the Commission

55.       Final Audit

56.       Residual Administrative Arrangements


57.       Oversight

58.       Recordkeeping and archiving

59.       Offences

60.       Regulations



AN ACT to establish a fund for the provision of reparations for Victims of the human rights abuses and violations during the period July 1994 and January 2017; to establish a Commission to manage the Fund; and for connected matters.  


1.  Short title

This Bill may be cited as the Victims Reparations Bill, 2023. 

2.  Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires –

“Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Commission;

“Commission” means the Reparations Commission established under section 13; 

“Government” means the Government of The Republic of The Gambia;

“High Court” means the High Court of The Republic of The Gambia;

“Human rights violation” refers to an act or omission committed during the period from July 1994 to January 2017 by persons acting in an official capacity and/or agents of the State, but shall not be limited to the following:  

(a) Any search, arrest and/or detention without a valid search warrant or warrant including any warrantless arrest or detention carried out pursuant to the orders or directives of former President Yahya A. J. J Jammeh;

(b) The infliction by a person acting in an official capacity and/or an agent of the State of physical injury, torture, killing, attempted killing, mental and emotional torture, SGBV, or violation of other human rights, of any person exercising civil or political rights, including but not limited to the freedom of speech, assembly or organization; and/or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, even if such violation took place during or in the course of what the authorities at the time deemed an illegal assembly or demonstration. 

(c)  Any enforced or involuntary disappearance caused upon a person who was arrested, detained or abducted against one’s will or otherwise deprived of one’s liberty until disappearance is made known;

(d) Any force or intimidation causing the exile of a person from The Gambia; 

(e) Any act of force, intimidation or deceit causing unjust or illegal takeover of a business or forced labour, arbitrary closure of business, confiscation of property, detention of owner/s and or their families, deprivation of livelihood of a person by former President Jammeh and or persons acting in an official capacity or as agent of the state;

(f) Any act or series of acts causing, committing and/or conducting the following: 

(i)         kidnapping or otherwise exploiting a person suspected of committing acts against the Jammeh regime; 

(ii)        mental, emotional and psychological distress;

(iii)       Other violations and/or abuses similar to the above, including those recognized by international law.

“institution” means Parastatal Institutions and Non-Governmental Organisation; examples of these are NAWEC for Parastatals and GPU and TANGO for NGOs.

“Interim compensation” means monies paid to victims by the TRRC from its reparations fund;

“Minister” means the Attorney General & Minister of Justice;

“Perpetrator” a person who has been found to have committed human rights abuses and violations by the TRRC and confirmed in the Government Whitepaper, and any person who may in the future be found guilty of having committed human rights violations by a Court of law or Tribunal either in the Gambia or elsewhere between July 1994 and January 2017.

“President” means the President of The Republic of The Gambia;

“Reparations” includes:

(a) “Restitution” a mode of reparation which includes measures to restore a victim or group of victims to a situation close to the one they were in before the violations of their Human Rights occurred,

(b) “Satisfaction” a mode of reparation that includes a broad range of measures including but not limited to truth seeking, the search for the disappeared, the recovery and reburial of remains, public apologies, judicial and administrative sanctions, commemoration, memorialisation, archiving and human rights training,

(c) “Compensation” refers to any monetary or financial consideration equivalent to an economically assessable damage resulting from the violation of the victim’s human rights or collective punishment meted out on communities through the denial of public services or deprivation of state funding,

(d) “Guarantees of Non-recurrence” a mode of reparation which comprises broad structural measures of a policy nature such as institutional reforms, security sector reforms, strengthening judicial independence, civil society and victim-led organisations, the protection of human rights defenders, the promotion of human rights standards in public service, law enforcement, the media, and psychological and social services, and

(e) “Rehabilitation” a mode of reparation which includes, education, medical and psychological care as well as legal and social services;

“Secretariat” means the secretariat of the Commission;

“SGBV” means any non-consensual sexual act, a threat or attempt to perform such an act, or compelling someone else to perform such an act on or with a third person. This definition applies irrespective of the sex or gender of the victim and the perpetrator, and of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. 

 “Torture” means any act or omission, by which severe pain or suffering whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of any person, whether acting in an official or private capacity, for such purposes as-

(a) obtaining information or a confession from the person or any other person;

(b) punishing that person for an act he or she or any other person has committed, or is suspected of having committed or of planning to commit; or

(c) intimidating or coercing the person or any other person to do, or to refrain from doing, any act.

(2) For purposes of this Act, “severe pain or suffering” means prolonged harm caused by or resulting from the –

(a) intentional infliction or threatened infliction of physical pain or suffering;

(b)administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(c) threat of imminent death; or

(d) threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mindaltering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

(3)        Without limiting the effect of sub-section (1), the acts constituting torture shall include the acts set out in the Schedule.

(4)        The definition of torture set out in sub-section (1) does not include pain or suffering arising from, inherent in or incidental to a lawful sanction; 

“TRRC” means the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission;

“Victim” includes – 

(a) a person designated as such by the TRRC; 

(b) Institutions that suffered pecuniary loss or impairment of human rights as a result of a human rights violations committed between July 22nd 1994 and January 31st 2017.

(c) a person who, individually or together with other persons, suffered harm in the form of physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, pecuniary loss or an impairment of human rights as a result of a human rights violations that must have been committed between July 22nd 1994 and January 31st 2017. 

(d) a person who, individually or together with other persons, suffered harm in the form of physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, pecuniary loss or an impairment of human rights, as a result of such person intervening to assist persons contemplated in paragraph (b); and

(e) a relative or dependent of a victim as may be determined by the Commission; and

“White paper” means the Government’s White paper containing its position on the recommendations contained in the TRRC Report. 


3.         Reparations Fund 

A fund is hereby created to be known as the Reparations Fund. 

4.         Purpose of the Fund

The fund shall be utilised to finance the making of reparations to victims as are defined under this Act and in accordance with the guidelines set by the Commission. The Fund shall be to-

(a)  finance individual and collective restitution for victims

(b)  provide compensation directly to victims; and 

(c)  provide for the rehabilitation of victims.

5.         Sources of money for the Fund

(1) The Fund shall consist of –

(a) monies allocated to it by the Government which shall include some of the proceeds of the sale of the assets of the former President Yahya A. J. Jammeh;

(b)  Grants; and

(c)  Donations from any lawful source. 

(2) The Commission may invest a portion of the Fund’s resources in various financial instruments, including stocks, bonds, and other investments deemed appropriate and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

6.         Bank account for the Fund

The fund shall open and maintain a Bank account at the Central Bank of The Gambia.  The Fund may operate bank accounts in both Dalasi and Foreign currencies.

7.         Payment out of the Fund

Payments shall only be made out of the fund with the approval of the Commission in accordance with its guidelines. 

8.         Prohibition of use of Fund for non-Fund purposes

The fund may not be used for any purposes that are not specifically provided for under this act and may not be used for any activity not consistent with the making of reparations to victims. 

To be continued

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