By Omar Bah
Reed Brody, the Counsel for Human Rights Watch (HRW), has welcomed the Ghanaian Government’s decision to consider studying a request by HRW and Trial International for the extradition and trial of former president Yahya Jammeh over the killings of Ghanaian nationals in The Gambia in 2005.
The government of Ghana has been informed that Human Rights Watch, in collaboration with Trial International and led by Reed Brody, has unearthed fresh evidence which they believe ties the former Gambian president to the killing of 44 Ghanaians on or about July 22, 2005.
Speaking to the Dakar-based West Africa Democracy Radio yesterday, Reed Brody said the move is a very important first step, saying it is not a surprising decision, “But it is important we weigh the legal, diplomatic and political bases of this and we hopefully will move forward.”
On how Gambia and Ghana can work together to bring Jammeh to justice, Brody said: “First of all Ghana will have to carry an investigation by sending investigators from Ghana to The Gambia and the Gambian authorities have to allow them in, which I expect them to do.”
“And then if Ghana comes up with enough evidence to bring indictment against Yahya Jammeh they would do that and then request Jammeh’s extradition from Equatorial Guinea for him to face trial in Ghana for the disappearances of these 50 migrants,” he added.
On whether there would be any hesitation from The Gambia for Jammeh to be tried in Ghana, Brody said: “I do not think it would be easy because the President of Equatorial Guinea is not a friend of human rights and he made it very clear that he would not extradite Jammeh.”
Reed Brody has over the years worked as counsel for the victims in the case of former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré – who was convicted of crimes against humanity in Senegal – and in the cases of Augusto Pinochet and Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier which have been featured in five films, including “The Dictator Hunter”.
He currently works with victims of Yahya Jammeh.