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Brody says Bai Lowe verdict should motivate gov’t to expedite Jammeh’s prosecution

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By Omar Bah

Human rights lawyer and investigator, Reed Brody, has said the sentencing of Bai Lowe to life-imprisonment in Germany should motivate The Gambia government to expedite former president Yahya Jammeh’s prosecution.

A German court yesterday sentenced jungler Bai Lowe to life in prison over his participation in a death squad that assassinated opponents of former dictator Jammeh, including prominent journalist Deyda Hydara.  

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Lowe was convicted of crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder for his role as a driver for the hit squad known as the Junglers.

Reacting to the sentence in a Standard exclusive, Reed Brody, who spent his career trying to hold dictators and abusive regimes accountable for their human rights violations, said: “Most importantly, the verdict should encourage the Gambia government to move forward, as it has said it will do, to establishing a special prosecutor’s office and a special internationalised court to bring to justice Yahya Jammeh himself and his worst killers. Victims shouldn’t have to go abroad to seek redress for what happened to them in Gambia. Gambian democracy requires that these crimes be prosecuted by Gambian courts.”

He added that Bai Lowe’s sentencing is a small step on the long road to justice for the crimes of Yahya Jammeh’s regime.

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“Bai Lowe was only a little man, and at the very bottom of the chart. He wasn’t the one who planned these killings. We know that it was Yahya Jammeh himself who was behind these crimes.  More trials of Jammeh’s henchmen will soon be underway in Switzerland and the United States,” Reed added.

Also commenting on the verdict, political and human rights activist, Pa Samba Jow, said the verdict is a significant move in the Jammeh2justice process. “Unfortunately, while the world is determined to hold Jammeh and his killing squad accountable for their disdained actions, President Barrow and his NPP have zero problems hobnobbing with the biggest enablers of twenty years of carnage against the Gambian people. I hope that the government will finally wake up and do the right thing by holding these brutes accountable. I am of the fervent view that those who cheered the tyranny are as callous as those who enforced it,” he said.

The US-based activist added: “To dictator Yahya AJJ Jammeh, this world has become a very small place for wicked people like him. His day will come. Even if President Barrow and his NPP continue to drag their feet due to political expediency, we are determined to ensure justice for his many victims. As was aptly put by Dr Martin Luther King Jr, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”.

Unless Jammeh is tried and convicted for his vicious crimes against Gambians, for being the mastermind of the killings, tortures, rapes, and other heinous crimes against Gambians, Jow added, there wouldn’t be justice for the victims and country.

“So, whether it is in Banjul, Accra, The Hague, or any other venue, Jammeh to justice will happen. It is no more a matter of if, but when,” he noted.

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