By Alagie Manneh
A member of former president Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad, Bai Lowe, will stand trial in Germany next week for crimes against humanity.
German authorities charged Mr Lowe following his arrest in the Western European country in March 2021 and has been in custody since then.
Germany-based Gambian human rights activist, Yahya Sonko, who has been following the case, welcomed the announcement of the trial, slated for April 25 in the Higher Regional Court of Celle. “I think the trial sends a message to Gambians that Jammeh and his cronies can run from The Gambia, but cannot hide from world.”
Mr Sonko said Lowe will “pay the full price” for his crimes.
“As a human rights activist, I am happy that this is finally taking place with the help of the Germans,” he said.
The TRRC has called for Bai Lowe’s prosecution after he was tied to the Hydara and Sillah cases. The Commission also recommended for his prosecution in the murder of 59 West African migrants in 2005.
The executive director of Trial International, Philip Grant, said earlier that the indictment of Bai Lowe is meaningful in ‘several ways’.
“It would lead to the opening of the first trial based on universal jurisdiction to judge the atrocities committed under Jammeh’s regime, and it would allow to shed light on the paramilitary unit of the Junglers and their ties to the former president, further preparing the ground for his prosecution,” said Grant.
Lowe is alleged to have been involved in three “liquidation orders” and driving other Junglers to attack sites. Among those targeted were the prominent newspaper editor, Deyda Hydara, a critic of the Jammeh government who was murdered in 2004, an alleged opponent, Dawda Nyassi, who was killed in 2006, and a lawyer, Ousman Sillah, who survived a murder attempt a year earlier. Lowe himself described his participation in these events in 2013 and 2014 radio interviews.