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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Victms Centre ‘outraged’ by amnesty for Sabally

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By Alagie Manneh

The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations has expressed its outrage following the publication of a report that the vice chairman of the AFPRC military interregnum, Sana Sabally, has been granted amnesty by the TRRC.

The Standard reported on Friday that the TRRC Amnesty Committee “approved” amnesty from prosecution for former AFPRC vice chairman Sabally who admitted responsibility for the killing of many soldiers accused of a coup plot in 1994.

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Mr Sabally was among people adversely mentioned by the TRRC who applied for amnesty to the Amnesty Committee following the submission of the TRRC Report, which recommended the prosecution of specified categories of people found responsible for grave crimes.

He was granted amnesty for giving a full disclosure during his testimony at the public hearings, according to the TRRC. 

But the Victims Centre said he showed no regrets over his participation in the killings of Lieutenants Basirou Barrow, Gibril Saye, Abdoulie ‘Dot’ Faal, and other soldiers.

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“It is outrageous, discouraging and disheartening to hear. He killed our husbands in such a way, and called them enemies whose heads must be caught off like a snake,” Fatou Sowe-Jaiteh, widow of slain sergeant Fafa Nyang, said at a press conference last Saturday. 

She said the victims cannot accept the recommendations for Sabally’s amnesty. “That is what we want President Adama Barrow to know – that we are citizens of this country. Let him give us dignity and what we deserve.”

The briefing was organised in Kotu by the centre and other victim-led organisations in the country in the wake of the Standard exposé.

The recommendations are “outrageous, discouraging, and disheartening,” said Adama Jallow, the national coordinator of the centre.

In a statement, numerous victim-led organisations including the African Network Against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances, said the announcement was “shocking”.

“[According to] section 19 (3) of the TRRC Act, Sanna Sabally SHOULD NOT qualify for amnesty because the crimes he committed form part of crimes against humanity. This therefore renders the ‘approval’ illegal and thus should not be acted on by the government.”

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