Yahya Jammeh's Victims Cry for Justice at ASP Event in The Hague

On the occasion of the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) convened two Side Events, the second Side Event, convened in cooperation with Fondation pour L'Ēgalitē des Chances en Afrique on 7th December titled 'Complementarity in Action - Bringing Yahya Jammeh to Justice'. The panel consisted of victims of Yahya Jammeh's atrocities and international justice advocates who called for the prosecution of the former Gambian dictator.

We share some impressions below.
Left: Ayeshah Jammeh, niece of Yahya Jammeh, whose father was killed by his own brother, Yahya Jammeh. Ayeshah informed the audience that after her aunt confronted her uncle (Yahya Jammeh) about the whereabouts of their brother, she too was killed by Jammeh.
Right: Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of slain Gambian activist Solo Sandeng, gave a personal account of how her father was filmed being tortured to death while in detention under Jammeh's orders.

Martin Kyere, the lone survivor of the 2005 migrant massacres in the Gambia, in which 56-57 innocent West-Africans (including 44 Ghanaians) were killed on their way to seek greener pastures in Europe. Visiting Europe for the first time, Kyere, who describes himself as an ordinary Ghanian, commented on the efficiency and the beauty of what he saw, yet this is not what he is asking for. He only has one plea- a plea for justice. In recounting the brutality that he had witnessed, Kyere sought answers as to why there has been no justice for the West-African migrants in the past 13 years. He said: 'In Ghana, we have circuit courts, we have high courts, we have the Appeal Court, and we have the Supreme Court.' 'In Africa, we have the ECOWAS Court and the African Court, so why can't there be justice for Jammeh's victims?'

A full house. Reed Brody, renowned for the role he played in supporting Chadian victims to bring Hissène Habré to justice - makes a pictorial presentation on bringing Yahya Jammeh to justice in Ghana.
Left: William Nyarko, Executive Director of the African Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) - a key stakeholder in the Jammeh2JusticeGhanaCampaign addresses the audience on 'The Campaign to Bring Yahya Jammeh to Justice in Ghana: Challenges and Prospects'.
Evelyn A. Ankumah, AFLA's Executive Director, listens attentively to Ayeshah Jammeh's presentation on 'Not Even the Family was Spared: Personal Account of Yahya Jammeh's Niece'.  
Amb. Duncan Laki Muhumuza of the Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations, explains how he identifies with Ayeshah Jammeh's story, as his own father disappeared during the reign of a former authoritarian Ugandan leader. Amb. Muhumuza further asked if there are any reasons why the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the ICC has not taken on the case of Yahya Jammeh. 
International criminal lawyer and member of the AFLA Quarterly peer review panel, Angela Mudukuti, asked how extensive are efforts to track suspected perpetrators who have left The Gambia, for the potential holding of universal jurisdiction trials.  
Benson Olugbuo, Programme Manager at the Centre for Democacy and Development, asked whether there has been any contact with NGOs in Equatorial Guinea, where Yahya Jammeh currently resides. While Equatorial Guinea is a special case, Olugbuo gave the example of Nigeria, where NGOs filed a lawsuit after the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor went into exile in Nigeria. Benson asked whether something similar could be done in Equatorial Guinea. 
A representative of the Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the United Nations asked whether Ghana has made any approaches to the Gambian government in terms of prosecution in Ghana.
From left to right: Fatoumatta SandengAmb. Duncan Laki Muhumuza and Ayeshah Jammeh after a successful event filled with enthusiasm to get justice for Yahya Jammeh's victims.
Coming soon: AFLA - ASP Side Event on 'Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court'.
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